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A History 
From the Earliest Times to the Death of Queen Victoria 


Sir Wm. Laird Clowes 

Fellow of King's College, London ; Gold Medallist U.S. Naval Institute ; 

Hon. Member of the Roynl United Service Institution ; 

Assoc.f Institute of Nnval Architects 

Assisted by 

Sir Clements Markham, K.C.B., P.R.G.S. 
Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N. 

Mr. H. W. Wilson 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States 

Thirty-five Photogravures 


Hundreds of Full Page and other 

Maps, Charts 


In Seven Volumes 




&t. Suniitan'iS Souse, jfcttrr Eanc, tE.C. 






THE present volume completes the History of the Eoyal Navy 
from the earliest times down to the date of the death of her late 
Majesty, Queen Victoria, at the beginning of the year 1901. 
Publication of the work, which, it was originally intended, should 
be finished in about three years and a half, counting from the 
summer of 1896, has unfortunately occupied instead a period of 
nearly seven years ; and I fear that the unpremeditated delay in 
the appearance of volume after volume has been not only a dis- 
appointment to many people who have been good enough to take 
a lively interest in the progress of the work, but also a source 
of great additional expense to my most courteous and considerate 


Begun at a time when I was in my usual good health, Volume I. 
was still in the rough when I was attacked by a malady, which, 
though its action is sometimes slow, seldom spares the life of its 
victim ; and, in consequence, I was suddenly ordered away from 
England, where alone I could have prosecuted the work under 
conditions entirely favourable. Except during brief intervals, I 
had to remain abroad or in the Channel Islands until the autumn 
of 1902. These facts account for some part of the delay. 

Another part is to be accounted for by a determination, arrived 
at about the year 1898, that the book should consist of a larger 
number of volumes than had been originally contemplated. The 
number first fixed upon had been five : it grew to six, and then 
to seven. I do not think that this extension of scope is, upon 
the whole, to be regretted, although undoubtedly it postponed the 
publication of the final volume for more than two years. It has 
enabled a more liberal allowance of space than otherwise would 



have been available to be devoted to an account of the marvellous 
material changes which revolutionised naval warfare in the last 
half of the nineteenth century, and it afforded room for the inclu- 
sion of what I trust, will be found to be a sufficiently full history 
the , Navys share in the important operations in South Africa 
China m the closing days of the Victorian era. The lamented 
ieath of the great Queen, at the very threshold of a new century 
immediately after success had been secured in China and 
assured m South Africa, furnished me with a date obviously suit- 
>le, in every respect, at which to bring my task to a halt 

'not wish to insist too strongly upon the disadvantages 
under which, as I have explained, I laboured almost from the 
3ommencement : but it is necessary that I should ask that any 
unfavourable sentence which may be passed upon my work shall 
^mitigated m consideration of the hostile circumstances in which 
- have been obliged to perform it. I know, far better than anyone 
who may be my critic, the numerous shortcomings of these seven 
volumes. I know, too, how much fewer those shortcomings would 
have been, ,f I had had good health instead of bad, throughout' 
these seven years. Excellent searchers, and other fellow-workers 
have aided me from the beginning to the utmost of their power' 
[ would have preferred to do for myself what they have done 
me ; and, had I been in a position to do so, the results would 
have been more satisfactory, certainly to myself, possibly also to 
3 reader; for it hardly needs saying that notes and documents 
m one's own handwriting are less likely to be misunder- 
>d, mis-transcribed in quotation, and misapplied, than notes and 
xmmenfe. copied in a score of different writings, not all of which 
are equally legible. Nevertheless, thanks to the large revision 
which most of the history of the events of the second half of the 
last century has undergone at the kind hands of those who took 
personal part in them, I have reason to hope that, upon the 
whole, the contents of this volume are very trustworthy records 
or the facts. 

During the long and interesting period covered by this final 

instalment of the work, Great Britain was engaged in no purely 

maritime war of any importance. She was not called upon to 

fight one considerable action in the open sea; and such bombard- 

her ships were concerned in were far less serious matters 

the bombardment of Copenhagen, in 1801, or even the naval 


attack upon Sebastopol in 1854. Yet at no period has the British 
Navy been more continuously engaged, or more widely employed, 
in small wars, and in those too soon forgotten police duties, which 
confer so many benefits upon the Empire, and often lack, never- 
theless, any chronicler other than the officer who reports them 
dryly to the Admiralty. Some hundreds of these minor operations 
will be found described in the present volume ; and few readers, 
I suspect, will fail to be surprised at the number of them. They 
give one a new idea of the wakefulness and ubiquity of the Empire's 
maritime forces. Here a rebel tribe is chastised ; there a consul 
is protected and vindicated ; elsewhere a slaver is captured and her 
cargo of slaves set at liberty ; and much of this is done without 
the great public hearing a word about it at the time. The extent 
and usefulness of this quiet work of the Navy is one of the 
characteristics of the period under review. 

Another is the frequency, previously unparalleled, with which 
the officers and men of the service, either with troops or alone, have 
been employed to do what should be purely landsmen's work, all 
over both hemispheres, sometimes fighting hundreds of miles from 
the sea. I venture to think that this employment of them has 
tended of late to become far too common. The naval officer and 
the bluejacket are expensive servants of His Majesty. They 
cannot be trained or replaced quickly, and they are entered and 
educated for another object. When a ship disembarks and sends 
up-country a large contingent of her people, and possibly also a 
number of her guns, she reduces her own usefulness, perhaps 
to vanishing point ; and, on certain stations, it might be an 
extremely serious matter if, in the event of a large man-of-war 
being suddenly required to cope with an emergency, she could 
neither move nor fight. One can hardly resist the conclusion that 
if the army, regular and irregular, were formed, organised, armed, 
and stationed as it should be, the calls for the assistance of the Navy 
on shore would be fewer. It is, however, a subject for congratulation 
that the Navy, when thus summoned, has never failed to respond in 
the handsomest and noblest manner ; and that, whether working 
single-handed or with the army, alike in New Zealand, in India, in 
the Soudan, in South Africa, and in China, it has gathered to itself 
fresh laurels. The Royal Marines, of course, are properly enough 
regarded as an amphibious corps ; yet the manner in which, on at 
least one occasion, they were employed in South Africa suggests that 


those generals who recollected that the Marines are soldiers may 
have forgotten that they are also part of every efficient British 
man-of-war's complement. Even more than the seamen, if that be 
possible, have the Royal Marines added, since 1856, to their 
magnificent reputation. 

Yet another characteristic of the period - and I greet it as a 
happy omen is the increasing frequency with which the officers 
and bluejackets of the United States of America have found them- 
selves ranged side by side with their cousins of the British Navy. 
In the Pei-ho, in Japan, in Central America, in the far North-West, 
on the Atlantic during the laying of the early cables, in Egypt, in 
Chile, in Samoa, and, more recently, in China, American seamen and 
marines have been the loyal comrades of British ones ; nor, I believe, 
has any unpleasantness, jealousy, or friction ever arisen when men 
of both nations have served together, as has often happened, under 
the leadership and command of a single officer, British or American. 
The naval services of the two English-speaking nations have shown 
their trust in, and sympathy with, one another so repeatedly, and 
have so often cemented their good feeling with the shedding of 
blood and the sacrifice of gallant life, that one is entitled to hope 
that never in the future will the relations between them be less 
frank and cordial, and that the general body of the people of the two 
countries will soon learn to look towards one another as generously 
and confidently as the two navies do already. Britain and America, 
acting together, should always be able to ensure the peace of the 
world. Their action on opposite sides would be the greatest catas- 
trophe that could possibly happen to the interests of civilisation, 
freedom, and progress. 

To name here all those who have encouraged and assisted me in 
the final stage of my long task would be impossible. His most 
gracious Majesty has been pleased to show his personal interest in 
the undertaking by conferring upon me an honour which only his 
kindness could have deemed me deserving of. From Viscount 
Goschen, the late, and the Earl of Selborne, the present, First Lord 
of the Admiralty, I have received help for which I cannot too fully 
express my gratitude. To the Foreign Office also I am much 
indebted. The authorities of the British Museum Library, and the 
Library of the Patent Office, as usual, have given ready help to my 
assistants ; and Sir William Howard Eussell has facilitated their 
researches in certain directions by placing at their disposal, and 


allowing to be removed from his office, his own file of the Army and 

Navy Gazette. 

To Mr. A. F. Yarrow, the well-known builder of fast small craft, 
I am deeply obliged for the personal interest which he has taken in 
.the completion of the work, and for the sympathetic manner in 
which he has aided me. 

To mention the naval officers who have furnished me with facts 
.and suggestions would almost involve the transcription to these 
pages of the entire list of living and lately living flag-officers and 
-captains. It has been my aim, whenever possible, to secure personal 
narratives, in the shape of letters, diaries, and private journals, 
wherewith to supplement the information, often very meagre and 
defective, contained in official despatches : and my efforts in that 
direction have brought me into correspondence, during the past ten 
years, with no fewer than 741 naval and Marine officers, who, nearly 
without exception, have taken much trouble on my behalf, and have 
generously placed at my disposal everything in their possession that 
could be of use to me. Many valuable facts relating to the work of 
the Eoyal Marines have been brought to my notice, thanks to the 
.courtesy of the officers editing the Globe and Laurel, the admirable 
journal of that distinguished corps. 

Of officers who, though not in the Navy, were associated in- 
timately with duties in which the Navy was employed, no one 
.showed me greater kindness, or took more pains to be of real service 
to me than the late General Sir Andrew Clarke. 

To Miss E. M. Samson, who has again undertaken the difficult 
business of providing the index, I tender my grateful thanks. To 
my publishers, Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd., and, in 
particular to Mr. E. Marston and to his son, Mr. E. B. Marston, 
members of the Directorate, I owe more gratitude than I can express 
for the generous and cheerful way in which they have borne wit 
the numerous disappointments and annoyances incidental to 1 
association with them in a great and costly undertaking of one wh< 
too frequently has been incapable, for weeks at a time, of carrying 
out the letter of his agreements with them. The kindly allowances 
which Mr. K. B. Marston, with whom I chiefly corresponded, was 
ever willing to make, and the thoughtful way in which he ever 
.considered my health rather than his convenience, will never be 
forgotten by me. If this History, as I hope it may, be welcomed as 
.a chronicle of affairs which hitherto have never been chronicled 


together in a single, work ; if it aid, as I trust it will, in streng- 
thening my countrymen for many a year to come in their deter- 
mination that the British Navy shall be second to none in the 
world ; and if, in the future, the long story which is told in it shall 
contribute aught to the encouragement of Britons who are inclined 
to despair, or to the ardour of those who believe in the glorious 
destinies of their race, then let the credit be given to the Messrs. 
Marston, but for whose patriotic co-operation it could not have been 
offered to the public. 


April, 1903. 





By Sir Win. Laird Clmces. 




By Sir Win. Laird Clowes. 


VOYAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 1857-1900 ... . 562 

By Sir Clements E. MarMam, K.C.B., P.R.G.S. 




LIST OF H.M. SHIPS LOST, ETC., 1857-1900 . . 582 

INDEX . . . 585 


Page 8, col. 1, line 18, for Balfour read Balfour (2). 
8, 2, 3, for John read James. 
87, 2, 39,/or Farquhar read Farquhar (2). 

103, line 6 from bottom, for Abercrombie Brown read Abercrombie Otto Bi;own. 

217, 5 from bottom, for Edge read Edye. 

221, 38, for Rutherlbld read Rutherford. 

238, 4, for Cresswell read Creswell. 

246, G, for Alexander read Victor Alexander. 

246, 8, for Valentia read Valencia. 

292, 17, for Sir Edmund read Sir John Edmund. 

207, 2 from bottom, for Balfour read Balfour (2). 

298 n.^for Henry Boys read Henry Boys (2). 

299, line 6 from bottom, /or Sir Edmund read Sir John Edmund. 

324, last col. line 22, for S. John read St. George. 

324, line 13, for Balfour read Balfour (2). 

336, line 14, for Balfour read Balfour (2). 

336, 21, for Herbert read Hubert. 

396, 2 from bottom, after Pigeon insert Lieut. 

401, 9 from bottom, for Parrayon and McCann read McCann and Parrayon. 

428 n. 2 for Gore-Brown read Gore-Browne. 

429, line 14, for Campbell read Campbell (2). 

431, 9,/o) - Carnegie Codringtyn read Codrington Carnegie. 

493, 14, /or Ethelstone read Ethelston. 

508 n. 2 /o?- Lieut. England read Lieut. George Plunkett England. 

527, line 9 from bottom, for Captain read Captains. 

557, 9,/or Captain James read Captain George James, etc. 

571, col. 1, line 26, for Nicolson read Nicholson. 

581, line 33, for Hawkworth read Hawksworth. 




ADMIRAL SIR MICHAEL SEYMOUR (2), G.C.B. . . Facing p. 96 


1897 400 



H.M.S. " BLACK PRINCE," 1861 . . . Facing p. 23 


H.M.S. "GLORY," 1899 .... ,,34 

H.M.S. " VIPER," 1900 ... 38 

H.M.S. "POLYPHEMUS," 1881 . 40 

H.M.S. " VULCAN," 1889 . . 42 

1860-70 ,,44 


GUN, 1876 ,,46 






H.M. TRAINING BRIG "NAUTILUS," 1879 . . . Facing p. 62 






H.M. ARMOURED SHIP " AoiNCOURT," 1865 ... ,, 162 




ALEXANDRIA, 1882 ....... 324 

H.M.S. "ALEXANDRA," 1875-90 . . 330 

H.M.S. "INFLEXIBLE," 1876 332 


HABESHI, FEB. SRD AND 4TH, 1885 ... 366 

H.M. CRUISER " CALLIOPE," 1884 .... ,,394 

A COAST-DEFENCE GUNBOAT, 1870-73 ' . . . . 426 


H.M.S. "RATTLESNAKE," 1886 . 440 

H.M.S. "TERRIBLE," 1895 . . ... ,,464 

THE LEGATIONS AT PEKING, 1900 . . . . 550 



THE CRIMEA MEDAL ......... 1 




H.M.S. " ROYAL SOVEREIGN," 1857-64 22 



PLAN OF H.M.S. "CRESSY" ... . .37 

EGYPTIAN MEDAL, 1882 . . . . . . ... 84 









G.C.B., K.C.M.G., ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET . . . .115 



KERR, K.C.B . 141 



OPERATIONS OF THE WAR OF 1860-64 . . . . .175 

KAGOSIMA HARBOUR, 1863 . . . . . . .198 




G.C.B., C.M.G 251 


FLEET .......... 291 




ADMIRAL LORD ALCESTER, G.C.B. . . . . . . 329 







K.C.M.G. . .;',; 448 


SIGNATURE) .......... 456 

CAPTAIN PERCY SCOTT, C.B. ....... 464 

A 12-PR. 12-cwT. Q.F. GUN ON SCOTT'S MOUNTING . . . 465 








A 6-iN. Q.F. GUN ON SCOTT'S MOUNTING . . . . 469- 




DEFENCE OF LADYSMITH, 1899-1900 ...... 495 





K.C.B 531 

ATTACK ON THE PEI-HO FORTS, 1900 . . , . . . 533 

KHEDIVE'S BRONZE STAR, EGYPT, 1882, 1884, ETC. . . . 561 






Administrative Officials at the Admiralty and the Dockyards Changes at the 
Admiralty Division of Admiralty Work The Navy Estimates Alterations 
in the Active List Admirals of the Fleet Flag-OfficersEnsigns The Navi- 
gating Branch New Ranks Retirement Pay Wages Naval Reserves Naval 
Architecture Ironclads Experimental Types New factors in Naval Warfare 
Armoured Cruisers Unarmoured Cruisers Gunboats Torpedo-boats Torpedo- 
boat Catchers Destroyers Miscellaneous Craft Yachts Mercantile Auxiliaries 
Ordnance The first Breech-loaders Improved Muzzle-loaders The later 
Breech-loaders Quick-firing Guns Small Arms Machine-guns Gunnery 
Engines and Boilers Screws Turbines Water-tube Boilers Armour Pro- 
jectiles Torpedoes Torpedo-nets Submarine Boats Illumination Electricity 
Masts and Sails Conning-towers Signalling Uniform Health of the Navy 
Training and Technical Education The Britannia Gunnery and Torpedo 
Schools Training-ships Technical Schools Guardships Royal United Service 
Institution Miscellaneous Innovations Orders and Medals Naval Clubs 
Influence of the British Navy on Foreign Services Attaches The Naval 
Intelligence Department The Bluejacket Sailors' Homes Royal Naval Fund 
Influence of popular Interest in the Navy Naval Reviews The Royal Naval 
Exhibition The Navy League The Navy Records Society The Jubilee Reviews. 

of the more 
important ad- 
officers of the 
Koyal Navy 
from 1857 to 
the end of the 
reign of Queen 


^Victoria was as follows : 




Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Wood, Bart., M.P. 

Mar. 8, 1858. Rt. Hon. Sir John Somerset Pakington, Bart., M.P. (G.C.B. 1859). 
June 28, 1859. Edward Adolphus, 12th Duke of Somerset, K.G. 
July 13, 1866. Rt. Hon. Sir John Somerset Pakington, Bart., G.C.B., M.P. 
Mar. 8, 1867. Rt. Hon. Henry Thomas Lowry Corry, M.P. 
Dec. 18, 1868. Rt. Hon. Hugli Culling Eardley Childers, M.P. 
Mar. 13, 1871. Rt. Hon. George Joachim Goschen, M.P. 
Mar. 6, 1874. Rt. Hon. George Ward Hunt, M.P. 
Aug. 15, 1877. Rt. Hon. William Henry Smith, M.P. 
May 13, 1880. Thomas George, 1st Earl of Northbrook, G.C.S.I. 
July 2, 1885. Rt. Hon. Lord George Francis Hamilton, M.P. 
Feb. 16, 1886. George Frederick Samuel, 1st Marquess of Ripon, G.C.S.I. 
Aug. 6, 1886. Rt. Hon. Lord George Francis Hamilton, M.P. 
Aug. 23, 1892. John Poyntz, 5th Earl Spencer, K.G. 
July 4, 1895. Rt. Hon. George Joachim Goschen, M.P. 
Nov. 1900. William Waldegrave, 2nd Earl of Selborne. 


June 29, 1869. Vernon Lushington, Q.C. 


Ralph Bernal Osborne, 

Mar. 9, 1858. Rt. Hon. Henry Thomas 

Lowry Corry, M.P. 
June 30, 1859. Lord Clarence Edward 

Paget, C.B., M.P., R.- 

Adm. (V.-Adm. 1865). 
Apr. 30, 1866. Hon. Thomas George 

Baring, M.P. (Lord 

Northbrook, 1866). 
July 16, 1866. Lord Henry Charles 

George Gordon-Lennox, 

Dec. 18, 1868. William Edward Baxter, 


( Title changed to that of Parliamentary 
Secretary, 1870.) 



Thomas Phinn. 

7, 1857. William Govett Romaine, 

(Title changed to that of Permanent 
Secretary, 1870.) 


Mar. 17, 1870. George John Shaw- 

Lefevre, M.P. 
July 12, 1870. William Edward Baxter, 

Mar. 6, 1874. Hon. Algernon Fulke 

Egerton, M.P. 
May 15, 1880. Rt. Hon. George John 

Shaw-Lefevre, M.P. 
Dec. 1, 1880. George Otto Trevelyan, 

May 13, 1882. Henry Campbell-Banner- 

man, M.P. 
Nov. 20, 1884. Sir Thomas Brassey, 

K.C.B., M.P. [M.P. 
July 3, 1885. Charles Thomson Ritchie, 
Feb. 16, 1886. Rt. Hon. John Tomlinson 

Hibbert, M.P. [M.P. 
Aug. 6, 1886. Arthur Bower Forwood, 

1 For convenience of reference, the names of the Prime Ministers from 1857 to the 
end of 1900, with the dates of their accession to office, are appended : Feb. 10, 1855, 
Lord Palmerston ; Feb. 25, 1858, Earl of Derby ; June 18, 1859, Lord Palmerston ; 
Nov. 6, 1865, Earl Russell ; July 6, 1866, Earl of Derby ; Feb. 27, 1868, Mr. Disraeli ; 
Dec. 9, 1868, Mr. Gladstone ; Feb. 21, 1874, Mr. Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield, 1876) ; 
Apr. 28, 1880, Mr. Gladstone; June 24, 1885, Marquess of Salisbury; Feb. 6, 1886, 
Mr. Gladstone; Aug. 3, 1886, Marquess of Salisbury; Aug. 18, 1892, Mr. Gladstone; 
Mar, 3, 1894, Earl of Rosebery ; July 2, 1895, Marquess of Salisbury (again 1900). 



Aug. 24, 1892. Rt. Hon. Sir Ughtred 
James Kay - Shuttle- 
worth, Bart., M.P. 

July 4, 1895. William Grey Ellison- 
Macartney, M.P. 

Nov. 1900. Hugh Oakeley Arnold- 
Forster, M.P. 


( This office was established in 1870, and 
abolished on Nov. 1, 1877. It was 
re-established in 1882, upon the aboli- 
tion of the office of Naval Secretary.) 

July 12, 1870. Vernon Lushington, Q.C. 
(till Nov. 1877). 

{Office temporarily abolished, and duty 

done by the Naval Secretary.) 
May 8, 1882. Robert George Crook- 
shank Hamilton. 

May 15, 1882. Robert Hall (3), C.B., 
retd. v.-adm., (actg.), 
(died June 11, 1882). 
June 13, 1882. George Tryon, C.B., Capt., 

R.N. (actg.). 
May 3, 1883. George Tryon, O.B., Capt., 


Apr. 2, 1884. Evan Macgregor, C.B. 
(K.C.B., 1892). 


May 8, 1872. Robert Hall (3), C.B., 
Capt., R.N. (later retd. 
r.-adm. and v.-adm.) 

(This office was abolished, May 8, 1882.) 


Sir Baldwin Wake Walker 
(1), Bart., K.C.B., Capt., 
R.N. (R.-Adm. 1858). 

(This office became in 1860 that of 


1860. Sir Baldwin Wake Walker 
(1), Bart., K.C.B., R.- 

Feb. 7, 1861. Robert Spencer Robinson, 1 
K.C.B. 1868). 

Feb. 14, 1871. Robert Hall (3), 1 C.B., 
Capt., R.N. 

Apr. 29, 1872. William Houston Stewart, 
C.B., R.-Adm. (V.-Adm. 
1876 ; K.C.B. 1877 : 
Adm. 1881). 

Dec. 1, 1881. Thomas Brandreth, R.- 
Adm. 1 (V.-Adm. 1884). 

Nov. 28, 1885. William Graham, C.B., 
V.-Adm. 1 (K. C. B., 

Aug. 6, 1888. John Ommanney Hop- 
kins, R.-Adm. 1 (V.- 
Adm. 1891). 

Feb. 2, 1892. John Arbuthnot Fisher, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 1 (K.C.B., 
1894 : V.-Adm. 1896). 

Aug. 24, 1897. Arthur Knyvet Wilson, 
C.B., V.C., R.-Adm. 

( ! From Jan. 14, 1869, to Mar. 19, 1872, 
and again from April 18th, 1882, to 
the end of the century, the Controller 
was a Lord of the Admiralty.) 


Thomas T. Grant, F.R.S. 2 
May 10, 1858. Charles Richards, Paym., 
R.N. 2 

(This title was changed in 1870 to that of 
Superintendent of Victualling Stores.) 


Apr. 1, 1870. Samuel Sayer Lewes. 

(This title was changed in 1878 to that 
of Director of Victualling. ) 


Aug. 12, 1878. Samuel Sayer Lewes (Kt. 

Feb. 1, 1886. Henry Francis Redhead 

Torke (late R.N.), (C.B. 


( 2 Also, from 1857 to 1862, Controller of 
the Transport Service.) 

B 2 



Feb. 21, 1855. William Drew. 

(In 1857 the duties of this office were 
added to those of the Controller of 
the Victualling ; but the services were 
again separated in 1862.) 


Apr. 30, 1862. William Robert Mends, 
C.B., Capt. R.N. (retd. 
r.-adm. 1868; K.C.B.; 
retd. v.-adm. 1874 ; 
retd. ad., 1879 ; G.C.B. 

Apr. 1, 1883. Sir Francis William Sulli- 
van, K.C.B., C.M.G., 
B. - Adm. (V. - Adm. 

Aag. 20, 1888. Harry Woodfall Brent, 
Capt., R.N. (retd. 1889 ; 
retd. r.-adm. 1890). 

Aug. 20, 1896. Bouverie Francis Clark, 
Capt., R.N. (retd. 1897 ; 
retd. r.-adm., 1899.) 


Hon. Robert Dundas. 

(Title changed in 1869 to that of 
Superintendent of Stores.) 


Apr. 13, 1869. Nelson Girdlestone. 
Jan. 23, 1872. Coghlan McLean Hardy. 

(Title changed in 1876 to that of 
Director of Stores.) 


1876. Coghlan McLean Hardy. 
Apr. 1, 1889. William George Front 

Apr. 1, 1895. Gordon William Miller. 


John Washington, Capt., 

Sept. 19, 1863. George Henry Richards, 

Capt., R.N. (R.-Adm. 

1870 ; C.B. 1871 ; retd. 

r.-adm., Jan. 19, 3874). 
Feb. 3, 1874. Frederick John 0. Evans, 

C.B., retd. capt., H.N. 

(later K.C.B.) 
Aug. 1, 1884. William James Lloyd 

Wharton, Capt,, R.N. 

(retd. 1891 ; retd. r.-adm. 

1895; C.B. 1895 ;K.C.B., 



Isaac Watts (C.B. 1862). 
July 9,1863. Edward James Reed (C.B., 
1868, K.C.B., 1880). 

Resigned July 8, 1870, 
whereupon the office was 
left open until 

Aug. 17, 1872. Nathaniel Barnaby (C.B., 
1876 ; K.C.B., 1885.) 

(Title changed in 1875 to that of Director 
of Naval Construction.) 


1875. Nathaniel Barnaby. 
Oct. 1, 1885. William Henry White. 

(Title of Assistant Controller added 
Dec. 17, 1885.) 


Dec. 17, 1885. William Henry White 
(C.B. 1891 ; K.C.B. 


Thomas Lloyd. 
(Title abolished, Feb. 4, 1869.) 



Jan. 19, 1869. Andrew Murray. 

(Title abolished, Feb. 24, 1870.) 

Oct. 20, 1860. James Wright. 

( Title changed in 1872 to that of Engineer- 



Aug. 17, 1872. James Wright 

May 1, 1887. Richard Sennett, Insp. of 

Mach., R.N. 
May 6, 1889. Albert John Durston, 

Insp. of Mach., R.N. 

(Chf. Insp. of Mach. 

1893; C.B. 1895; K.C.B. 



Sir Richard Madox Brom- 
ley, K.C.B. 

Apr. 1, 1863. James Beeby. 

Oct. 31, 1872. Henry William Routledge 

June 1, 1878. Robert George Crook- 
shank Hamilton. 

May 8,1882. William Willis (Kt. 1885). 

June 1, 1885. Sir Gerald Fitzgerald, 

Dec. 1, 1896. Richard Davis Awdry, 


Sir John Liddell, M.D., 

F.R.S., R.N. 
Jan. 21, 1864. Alexander Bryson, C.B., 

M.D., R.N. 
Apr. 15, 1869. Alexander Armstrong, 

M.D., R.N. (K.C.B. 


Feb. 1, 1880. John Watt Reid, M.D., 

R.N. (K.C.B. 1882). 
Feb. 27, 1888. James Nicholas Dick, 

C.B., R.N. (K.C.B. 

Apr. 1, 1898. Sir Henry Frederick Nor- 

bury, M.D., K.C.B., 



Charles Eden, Commodore. 
Aug. 3, 1859. Hastings Reginald Yelver- 

ton, C.B., Commodore. 
Apr. 27, 1863. Alfred Phillipps Ryder, 

Apr. 9, 1866. John Walter Tarleton, 

C.B. (R.-Adm. 1868). 

(This office was abolished in 1869.) 


Jan. 1,1875. Sir John Walter Tarleton, 
K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Nov. 13, 1876. Augustus Phillimore, R.- 
Adm. (V.-Adm. 1879). 

Nov. 21, 1879. H.R.H. Alfred Ernest 
Albert, Duke of Edin- 
burgh, K.G., etc., R - 

Nov. 23, 1882. Sir Anthony Hiley Hos- 
kins, K.C.B., R.-Adm. 
(V.-Adm. 1885). 

Sept. 6, 1885. John Kennedy Erskine 
Baird, R.-Adm. (V.- 
Adm. 1886). 

Apr. 17, 1888. Sir George Tryon, K.C.B., 
R. - Adm. (V. - Adm. 

Apr. 21, 1891. Robert O'Brien FitzRoy, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

Apr. 25, 1894. Edward Hobart Seymour, 
C.B., R.-Adm. (V.-Adm. 

May 10, 1897. Compton Edward Dom- 
vile, V.-Adm. (K.C.B. 

May 21, 1900. Sir Gerard Henry Uctred 
Noel, K.C.M.G., R.- 




Feb. 1, 1887. William Henry Hall, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1889. Cyprian Arthur George 

Bridge, Capt., R.N. 

(R.-Adm. 1892). 
Sept. 1, 1894. Lewis Anthony Beaumont, 

Capt., R.N. (E.-Adm. 

Mar. 20, 1899. Reginald Neville Custance, 

C.M.G., Capt., R.N. 

(R.-Adm. 1899). 


George Goldsmith, C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 
Apr. 1, 1861. Edward Gennys Fan- 

shawe, Capt., R.N. 
Nov. 19, 1863. William Houston Stewart, 

C.B., Capt, K.N. 

Dec. 1,1868. William Charles Chamber- 
lain, Capt., R.N. 

Jan. 19, 1874. Charles Fellowes, C.B., 
Capt., R.N. (R.-Adm. 

Feb. 3, 1879. Thomas Brandreth, R.- 

Dec. 1, 1881. Georges WilleR Watson, 
R. - Adm. (V. - Adm. 
May 1,1886. William Codrington, C.B., 


Nov. 1, 1887. Edward Kelly, R.-Adm. 
Jan. 25, 1892. George Digby Morant, 
R. - Adm. (V. - Adm. 
Sept. 2, 1895. Hilary Gustavus Andoe, 

C.B., B.-Adm. 

Sept. 2, 1899. Swinton Colthurst Hol- 
land, R.-Adm. 


William Fanshawe Martin, 

Feb. 25, 1858. Hon. George Grey (2) 

Feb. 19, 1863. George Elliot (4), R.- 

July 1, 1865. George Greville Wellesley, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

July 1, 1869. Astley Cooper Key, C.B., 

Nov. 20, 1871. William Houston Stewart, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

Apr. 29, 1872. Sir Francis Leopold 
M'Clintock, R.-Adm. 

Apr. 30, 1877. Hon. Fitzgerald Algernon 
Charles Foley, R-.Adm. 
(V.-Adm. 1881). 

May 1, 1882. John Dobree M'Crea, R.- 

Apr. 6, 1883. Frederick Anstruther Her- 
bert, R.-Adm. 

Nov. 1, 1886. John Ommanney Hopkins, 

Aug. 6, 1888. William Elrington Gordon, 

May 21, 1891. John Arbuthnot Fisher, 
C.B., B.-Adm. 

Feb. 1, 1892. Charles George Fane, R.- 

Feb. 1, 1896. Ernest Rice, R.-Adm. (V.- 
Adm. 1899). 

Sept. 1, 1899. Pelham Aldrich, R.-Adm. 

Feb. 19,1855. 
Dec. 9, 1857. 
Nov. 28, 1862. 
May 9, 1866. 
July 13, 1870. 
Nov. 22, 1871. 
Aug. 12, 1875. 
May 1, 1876. 
Feb. 1, 1879. 
Feb. 23, 1880. 
Feb. 23,1885. 
July 10, 1885. 


Sir James Hanway Plum- 
ridge, K.C.B., R.-Adm. 
Sir Thomas Sabine Pasley, 

Bart., R.-Adm. 
Thomas Matthew Charles 

Symonds, C.B., R.-Adm. 
Hon. James Robert Drum- 

mond, C.B., R.-Adm. 
William Houston Stewart, 

C.B., R.-Adm. 
Sir William King Hall, 

K.C.B., R.-Adm. 
William Charles Cham- 
berlain, R.-Adm. 
George Ommanney Willes, 

C.B., R.-Adm. 
Charles Webley Hope, 

Charles Thomas Curme, 

John Crawford Wilson, 

B.-Adm. (died). 
Henry Duncan Grant, 

C.B., R.-Adm. (V.-Adm. 



Aug. 1, 1888. Sir Walter James Hunt- 
Grubbe, K.C.B., R.- 
Adm. (V.-Adm. 1890). 

Aug. 4, 1891. Sir Robert Henry More- 
Molyneux, K.C.B., R.- 
Adm. (V.-Adm. 1894). 

Aug. 7, 1894. Edmund John Church, 

Nov. 3, 1896. Henry John Carr, R.- 

July 7, 1899. Thomas Sturges Jackson, 

Woolwich (" Commod. in Charge"). 

(Dec.31, 1853.) John Shepherd (2), Com- 
mod. 2nd Cl. 

Dec. 20, 1858. Hon. James Robert Drum- 
mond, Commod., 2nd Cl. 

June 29, 1861. Sir Frederick William 
Erskine Nicholson, Bart., 
Commod., 2nd Cl. 

Jan. 1, 1864. Hugh Dunlop, C.B., Corn- 
mod., 2nd Cl. 

Apr. 9, 1866. WilliamEdmonstone.C.B., 
Commod., 2nd Cl. 

(Dockyard dosed 1869.) 


Horatio Thomas Austin, 

C.B., Capt., R.N. 
Dec. 12, 1857. Claude Heury Mason 

Buckle, C.B., Capt., 


Feb. 9, 1863. Heury Chads, Capt., R.N. 
Apr. 10, 1866. Arthur Parry Eardley 

Wilmot, C.B., Capt., 


(Dockyard closed, 1869.) 


John Jervis Tucker, Capt., 

Sept. 23, 1857. John Coghlan Fitzgerald, 

Capt., R.N. 
June 9, 1859. Rundle Surges Watson, 

C.B., Capt., R.N. 

July 3, 1860. Charles Wise, Capt., R.N. 
Apr. 27, 1865. William King Hall, C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 

Apr. 1, 1869. Hon. Arthur Auckland 
Leopold Pedro Coch- 
rane, C.B., Capt., R.N. 
May 25, 1870. William Garnham Luard, 

C.B., Capt., R.N. 

Jan. 9, 1875. Hon. Fitzgerald Algernon 
Charles Foley, Capt., 
Jan. 9, 1877. Thomas Brandreth, Capt., 

Jan. 4, 1879. Theodore Morton Jones, 

Capt. R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1883. John Ommanney Hopkins, 

Capt., H.N. 
Apr. 6,1883. William Codrington, C.B.. 

Capt., R.N. 

July 17, 1885. Henry Frederick Nichol- 
son, C.B., Capt.. R.N. 
July 1, 1886. Sir Robert Henry More- 
Molyneux, K.C.B., Capt., 
June 1,1888. Charles George Fane, Capt., 

Aug. 6, 1890. Richard Duckworth King, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 25, 1892. Armand Temple Powlett, 

Capt. R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1894. John Fellowes, C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 15, 1895. John Coke Burnell, Capt., 


Jan. 11, 1898. Andrew Kennedy Bick- 
ford, C.M.G., Capt., 

June 28, 1899. Reginald Friend Hannam 
Henderson, C.B., Capt., 


(May 22, 1854.) Robert Smart, K.H., 

Capt., R.N. 
July 27, 1857. George Ramsay, C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 
Sept. 1, 1862. William Loring, C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 
Mar. 21, 1866. Robert Hall (3), C.B., 

Capt., R.N. 
Mar. 22,1871. William Army tage, Capt. , 




Jan. 22, 1872. Richard William Courte- 

nay, Capt., R.N. 
Mar. 15, 1875. Richard Vesey Hamilton, 

Capt., R.N. 
Oct. 16, 1877. George Henry Parkin, 

Capt., R.N. 
(let. 15, 1882. Alfred John ChatHeld, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1886. Edward Kelly, Capt., 

June 22, 1887. George Digby Morant, 

Capt., R.N. 

Jan. 7, 1889. Samuel Long, Capt., R.N. 
Aug. 28, 1891. Walter Stewart, Capt., 

Jan. 1, 1893. Charles Cooper Penrose 

FitzGerald, Capt., R.N. 
Mar. 21, 1895. Charles John Balfour, 

Capt., R.N. 
Oct. 4, 1896. Burges Watson, Capt., 

Oct. 2, 1899. Charles James Barlow, 

D.S.O., Capt., R.N. 

(In 1895 Capt. William Henry Hall, ap- 
pointed to succeed Capt. FitzGerald, 
died be/ore he assumed office."). 

Gibraltar (" N.O. in Charge "). 

Apr. 14, 1862. Erasmus Ommanney, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1865. James Charles Prevost, 

Capt., R.N. 
Feb. 1, 1870. Augustus Phillimore, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 1, 1874. John Dobree M'Crea, 

Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 16, 1878. William Henry Edye, 

Capt, R.N. 
Jan. 10, 1881. Hon. Edmund Robert 

Fremantle, Capt., R.N. 
Dec. 27, 1883. John Child Purvis (2), 

Capt., R.N. 
Dec. 15, 1886. Henry Craven St. John, 

Sept. 3, 1889. Claude Edward Buckle, 
Capt., R.N. 

Jan. 7, 1892. Atwell Peregrine Macleod 

Lake, Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 20, 1895. John Andrew Thomas 

Bruce, Capt., R.N. 
Jan. 20, 1898. Charles Carter Drury, 

Capt., R.N. 
Sept. 1, 1899. William Harvey Pigott, 

Capt., R.N. 


Hon. Sir Montagu Stop- 
ford, K.C.B., R.-Adm. 

July 27, 1858. Henry John Codrington, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

Apr. 6, 1863. Horatio Thomas Austin, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

Nov. 26, 1864. Henry Kellett, C.B., R.- 

May 25, 1868. Edward Gennys Fan- 
shawe, R.-Adm. 

June 6, 1870. Astley Cooper Key, C.B., 

Aug. 8, 1872. Sir Edward Augustus 
Inglefield, Kt., C.B., R.- 

Dec. 22, 1875. Edward Bridges Rice, R.- 

May 30, 1876. William Garnham Luard, 
C.B., R.-Adm (temp.). 

Apr. 13, 1878. William Garnham Luard, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

July 18, 1879. John Dobree M'Crea, R.- 

Mar. 24, 1882. William Graham, C.B., 

Mar. 25,1885. Hon. William John Ward, 

May 4, 1887. Robert Gordon Douglas, 

Jan. 10, 1889. Alexander Buller, R.- 

Jan. 12, 1892. Richard Edward Tracey, 

Jan. 20,1894. Richard Duckworth King, 

Feb. 1, 1897. Rodney Maclaine Lloyd, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

Feb. 1, 1900. Burges Watson, R.-Adm. 

Some of the changes in the administrative methods of the 
Admiralty may be traced in the foregoing. Under the rule of 
Mr. Childers it was felt that the position of the Controller, who 


had not then a seat at the Board, was anomalous and unsatisfactory ; 
and, by an Order in Council of January 14th, 1869, the Board was 
accordingly reconstructed, as follows : 

The First Lord. 
Four Naval Lords. 
The Civil Lord. 

The First, or Parliamentary Secretary. 
The Second, or Permanent Secretary. 


The First Lord. 
The First Naval Lord. 
The Third Lord and Controller. 
The Junior Naval Lord. 
The Civil Lord. 
The Parliamentary Secretary. 
- The Permanent Secretary. 



THE ADMIRALTY, 1871-74, 1895-1900. 
(From a photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.'} 

The Order, however, besides effecting this reconstruction, re- 
stricted each Lord to the peculiar business assigned to him, and so 
rendered meetings of the Board almost unnecessary. An embarrass- 
ment of affairs resulted. It was sought to reduce this by creating 



temporarily a " Chief of the Staff," by establishing the Contract and 
Purchase Department, and by transferring the offices of the Civil 
Departments from Somerset House to Whitehall and Spring 

THE NAVY, 1863-1870. 

Gardens. Under Mr. Goschen, a new Order in Council, of 
March 19th, 1872, made all the Lords directly responsible to the 
First Lord, appointed a Second Naval Lord, deprived the Con- 
troller of his seat, and added to the Board a Third, or Naval 
Secretary. But under Lord Northbrook, by Order in Council of 
March 10th, 1882, the Naval Secretary disappeared, the Permanent 
Secretary was revived, the Controller resumed his seat at the Board, 
and a non-parliamentary Civil Lord was given him as his assistant. 
This non-parliamentary Civil Lord l disappeared in 1885 ; and, at 
about the same time, the Accountant-General of the Navy was 


ordered to act as deputy and assistant to the Parliamentary and 
Financial Secretary. 2 The Board as thereafter constituted con- 
sisted of : 

The First Lord (salary 4500, with house). 

The First Sea Lord (salary 1500, with house, and naval pay). 

The Second Sea Lord (salary 1200, with naval pay). 

The Third Lord and Controller (salary 1700, with naval pay). 

The Junior Sea Lord (salary 1200). 

The Civil Lord (salary 1000). 

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary (salary 2000). 

The Permanent Secretary (salary 2000). 

1 Mr. George Wightwick Eendel. 

0. in C. of Nov. 18, 1885. 



The manner in which the business of the Board is divided, and 
the relationship of the various Lords and the Parliamentary Secre- 
tary to the subsidiary departments, is shown in the following table, 
which is adapted from Admiral Sir E. Vesey Hamilton's useful 
volume on ' Naval Administration ' (1896) : 





Director of Contracts (who is also under the 

particular Lord of the department for 

which purchases are made). 
All Departments (for questions of finance). 




AND Cox- *j 








and Civil 

Material of 
the Fleet'. 

I Director of Works. 

CIVIL I Accountant-General (for special questions 
LORD. j affecting pay and allowances). 

I Director of Greenwich Hospital. 

Director of Naval Construction. 
Director of Dockyards. 
Engineer-in-Chief (for material). 
Director of Naval Ordnance (for material). 
Director of Stores (except for coals). 
Expense Accounts Branch. 

Director of Transports. 

Director-General of the Medical Department. 

Director of Victualling. 

Director of Stores (for coals). 

Accountant-General (for allowances, table- 
money, etc.). 

Chaplain of the Fleet (for chaplains and 
naval instructors). 

Intelligence Department (for mobilization 
business affecting the above). 

Adm.-Supt. of Naval Reserves (for personnel). 
Engineer-in-Chief (for personnel). 
Chaplain of the Fleet (for naval schools). 
Manning the Navy. 
Intelligence Department (for mobilisation of 

the Fleet). 
D.A.G., Royal Marines. 

I Adm.-Supt. of Naval Reserves (for ships). 
Director of Naval Ordnance (for training 

establishments for gunnery and torpedo). 
Intelligence Department. 

The business of the Permanent Secretary is to superintend all 
correspondence in the name of the Board ; to prevent independent 
action by any department ; to provide for the transmission and 
execution of orders ; and to keep unbroken the administrative 
machinery of the Admiralty. 

The sums voted for the service of the Navy, and the numbers of 
seamen and Eoyal Marines authorised to be borne each from 1856-57 
to 1900-01 inclusive were : 


organisation ; 

condition ; 
mobilisation ; 
stores ; coals ; 

education ; 

manning ; 

surveying ; 




Total Naval 
Supplies Granted. 

Seamen and Boys **. 

Total Numbers 

Total Numbers 



/60,000 (3 mos.)\ 
\40,000 (9 mos.)/ 


/ 76, 000 (3 mos.)\ 
\56,000(9 mos.)/ 



q o fi o o 40 J 38, 700 (3 mos.)\ 
J, 962, 84) | 40)700(9 mos j) 


|53,700(3 mos/n 54 991 
\ 55, 700 (9 mos.)/ *'* vl 

1858 2 

9,878,859 : 44,380 




11,775,718 47,400 \ 15,000 




66,100 18,000 




59,000 18,000 
































































46,000 14,000 




46,000 ! 14,000 




46,000 14,000 





























45,100 12;400 







1884 8 











13,270,100 48,500 




12,476,800 49,600 : 12,900 



1888 4 

13,082,800 49,500 ]2,900 

62,400 62,600 


13,685,100 51,400 14,000 

65,400 63,598 


13,786,600 54,795 


68,800 66,566 


14,215,100 56,995 


71,000 68,805 


14,240,200 59,595 14,505 

74,100 72,245 


14,240,100 61,695 15,005 

76,700 75,207 



67,895 15,505 

83,400 79,862 



73,345 i 15,505 

88,850 84,569 



77,745 16,005 

93,750 90,160 



83,045 ' 17,005 

100,050 92,322 



88,583 17,807 

106,390 97,518 



92,350 18,290 





96,290 18,590 



1 The financial year began on April 1st of the year named, and ended on the following March 31st : thus, for 
1856, read, from April 1st, 1856, to March 31st, 1857. 

2 In 1858 the Coast Guard was transferred from the Customs to the Admiralty. 
"Truth Abont the Navy" Agitation. 

< City Agitation, followed by Naval Defence Act, 62 Viet. cap. 8, authorising special expenditure of 
10,000,000 out of the Consolidated Fund in the seven years ending Mar. 31, 1896, and of 11,000,000 out of the 
Naval Votes for the five ytars ending Mar. 31, 1894 : all for building purposes. The 10,000,000 was in addition 
to the above. 

Supplementary Naval Defence Act of 1893. 

" Needs of the Navy " Agitation. 

' Of this a sum of 863,278 was not e.xpeuded. 



During the changeful and progressive period under review, im- 
mense alterations, as might be expected, were made in the con- 
stitution of the active list of officers. For convenience of reference, 
the numbers of officers of the various ranks, both active and retired, 
included in the official lists for January, 1857, and January, 1901, 
respectively, are here given side by side : 

Jan. 1857 (complete to Jan. 1901 (complete to 
Deo. 20, 1856). Dec. 20, 1900). 





Admirals of the Fleet . 


5 1 

Admirals ..... 





Vice-Admirals .... 





Rear- Admirals .... 


188 37 


Captains ..... 


372 200 


Commanders .... 


489 303 


Lieutenants . . . . 1,138 

641 1,163 s 


Masters 3 ..... 




Mates (later Sub-Lieuts.) 




Second-Masters 5 



Engineer Officers 




Chaplains 6 .... 


13 118 


Naval Instructors ' . 




Medical Officers .... 


387 400 


Accountant Officers . . .1 447 

221 578 


Royal Marine Officers . . . 481 




Midshipmen .... 8 > 


Naval Cadets .... 




Staff-Captains 9 .... 




Staff-Commanders 10 . 





Chief Gunners and Gunners. . 8 




Chief Boatswains and Boatswains . 


8 451 


Chief Carpenters and Carpenters . 




Artificer Engineers 12 . 



Head Schoolmasters . 



Head Wardmasters 



1 Including 2 Honorary Admirals of the Fleet. 

2 including 139 Supplementary Lieutenants. 

s Masters became Navigating-Lieutenants by 0. in C. of June 26, 1867. No additions to special navigating 
list after 1883. 

* Including 1 Supplementary Sub-Lieutenant. 

Second-Masters became Navigating-Sub-Lieutenanta by 0. in C. of June 26, 1867. 

Including the Chaplains who were also Naval Instructors. 

7 Naval Instructors only who were not also Chaplains. 

These ranks were either non-existent in 1857, or not then included In the Navy List. 

Bank of Staff-Captain (navigating officer) created July 1st, 1867. 

10 Kank of Staff-Commander (navigating officer) created June llth, 1863. 

11 Some of these are Honorary Lieutenants under Os. in C. of Sept. 15, 1887, and Aug. 19, 1889. 

12 Katik of Artificer Engineer created Apl. 1st, 1898. 

Although there was no Admiral of the Fleet at the beginning of 
1857, the rank was in temporary abeyance only. Admiral of the 
Fleet Sir Thomas Byarn Martin had died in October, 1854, leaving 
Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin at the head of the active 
list. Gosselin, though in the early part of his career he had been 
on full pay for twenty-nine years, had subsequently been on half-pay 


for no fewer than forty-five years in succession, and had never 
hoisted his flag. Moreover, he was eighty-nine years of age. He 
lived, nevertheless, until nearly the last days of 1857. Not until 
then was the officer next on the list, Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, 
Bart., promoted. Ogle had hoisted his flag more than once; and 
his claim to promotion, when his turn came, could hardly have 
been resisted. Nevertheless, be it noted, although Gosselin had not 
been promoted, he had not been passed over. While he lived he 
simply, as it were, blocked the way. 

For many years after 1857 the flag-officer at the top of the list of 
Admirals always received promotion as a vacancy occurred ; and in 
1862 a second Admiral of the Fleet was appointed, a third being 
added in 1863. Three remained the extreme number until nearly the 
close of the century. In making the appointments, provided that 
the officer next on the list had served as a Commander-in-Chief, or 
had commanded at sea as a flag-officer for two years, seniority was 
never ignored until, in 1892, came the turn of Admiral Algernon 
Frederick Eous de Horsey, who had been Commander-in-Chief in the 
Pacific for nearly three years, and, in addition, had been senior officer 
in the Channel for about five months. On that occasion, her Majesty 
the Queen, exercising her right of selection, saw fit to pass over de 
Horsey, and to promote Sir John Edmund Commerell, whose name 
stood next on the active list. Thenceforward seniority, subject to the 
provisions above indicated, was not interfered with, except in the case 
of H.E.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, 1 until 1898, when Sir Frederick 
William Eichards 2 was promoted as a fourth Admiral of the Fleet, 
although, at the time, he was not next on the list, but third on it. This 
promotion, however, differed from that of Commerell in that it was an 
extra one, and was not made to the permanent prejudice of any other 
officers ; for when, in 1899, the turn came of the officer, Sir Nowell 
Salmon, who had all along stood first for promotion (assuming an 
establishment of only three Admirals of the Fleet), he was promoted. 

It may be noted here that the rank of Honorary Admiral of the 
Fleet was first created in 1887 in favour of his present Majesty, 
then Prince of Wales, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 
and that his Majesty, William II., German Emperor, was honoured 
with the like dignity in 1889. 

On July 9th, 1864, an Order in Council discontinued the time- 
honoured classification which had previously subdivided the various 
ranks of flag-officers into those of the Eed, the White, and the Blue 
1 0. in C. of Nov. 23, 1893. 2 0. in C. of Nov. 29, 1898. 



Squadrons respectively ; and by an Admiralty circular of August 5th 
following it was directed that, for the future, all flag-officers should 
wear a white flag with a red Cross of St. George therein, with, in the 
case of Vice- Admirals, one red ball, and, in the case of Kear-Admirals, 
two red balls, in the upper part, near the staff. At the same time 
it was ordered that all Commodores should wear a white broad- 
pennant, with a red St. George's Cross therein ; that all her 
Majesty's ships in commission should fly the White Ensign ; that 
the Blue Ensign should be borne by vessels " in the service of any 
public office," and by ships commanded by officers of the Eoyal 
Naval Keserve, 1 and having a fourth part of the crew composed of 
reserve men ; and that the Ked Ensign should continue to be flown 
by all other British vessels, with the exception of certain yachts, 
and craft authorised to bear distinguishing flags. 

An Order in Council of June 26, 1867, transformed the then 
existing Masters into Navigating-Lieutenants ; the Second Masters 
into Navigating-Sub-Lieutenants ; the Masters' Assistants into 
Navigating- Midshipmen ; and the Naval Cadets, 2nd Class, into 

The title of Sub-Lieutenant was substituted for that of Mate 
in 1861. 

The commissioned ranks of Chief Gunner, Chief Boatswain, and 
Chief Carpenter were created by an Admiralty Circular of July 
25th, 1864. 

It is impossible to say much here on the large subject of naval 
retirement. The chief Orders in Council which affected it during 
the period under review are those of : 

I860. Aug. 1. 

1864. July 9. 

1865. Mar. 31. 

1866. Feb. 23 ; Mar. 24 ; 
Aug. 9. 

1870. Feb. 22. 

1878. Jan. 15. 

1879. Nov. 29. 

1881. Nov. 29. 

1882. Nov. 30. 
1887. July 12. 
1890. Mar. 21. 

1895. June 29 ; July 16. 

1896. Mar. 6. 

1897. Feb. 26 ; Aug. 3. 

1898. Nov. 29. 

1900. Jau. 29 ; Mar. 3. 

The Order of November 29th, 1898, fixed the limit of strength of 
the active list, so far as certain ranks were concerned, at : 

Admirals of the Fleet . 
Vice- Admirals . 



Chief Gunners ) 
Chief Boatswains/ ' 
Chief Carpenters . 

... 100 
... 20 

Rear- Admirals. 


Gunners ^ 



Boatswains / 

. . . 240 

Lieutenants . 

. 1,550 


See also Circ. of Aug. 3, 1864. 


and made provision for the rate at which the flag-officers', Captains', 
and Commanders' lists were to be increased annually. In several of 
the ranks at the end of the century (see Table on p. 13) the 
numbers fell far short of what they then should have been. 

Under the regulations which remained in force at the end of 
1900, Admirals of the Fleet were compulsorily retired at seventy ; 
Admirals, at sixty-five (or seven years after last active service) ; 
Vice-Admirals at sixty-five (or seven years after last active service) ; 
Rear-Admirals at sixty (or seven years after last active service) ; 
Captains at fifty-five (or six years after last active service) ; Com- 
manders at fifty (or five years after last active service) ; Lieutenants 
at forty-five (or four years after last active service) ; Chief Inspectors 
and Inspectors of Machinery at sixty (or seven years after last active 
service) ; Fleet Engineers, Staff Engineers, and Chief Engineers at 
fifty-five (or five years after last active service) ; Engineers at forty- 
five (or five years after last active service) ; Assistant Engineers at 
forty (or five years after last active service) ; Chaplains and Naval 
Instructors at sixty ; Inspectors-General, and Deputy Inspectors- 
General of Hospitals at sixty ; Fleet Surgeons, Staff Surgeons, and 
Surgeons at fifty-five ; and Fleet Paymasters, Staff Paymasters and 
Paymasters at sixty. 

All things considered, the pay of naval officers underwent singu- 
larly little alteration during the period. The good executive officer 
of 1857 was, relatively speaking, little more scientific than his 
predecessor of 1805. It was not necessary that he should know 
much about steam ; the gunnery requirements of the day were 
simple ; and hydraulics, electricity, Morse signalling, and torpedoes 
were unknown in the service. On the other hand, it was required 
of the good executive officer of 1900 that he should be not only a 
seaman and a gunner, but also something of an engineer, something 
of a physicist, something of a chemist, and much more. Yet his 
emoluments were hardly increased in proportion. Still more 
modestly were the emoluments of the Accountant branch added to. 
The most notable advances were in the pay of officers of the purely 
and avowedly scientific branches, the engineering and the medical. 
It is impracticable to give here a full statement of all such changes as 
were made ; but the full pay received by officers of a few typical 
ranks and standings in 1857 and 1900 respectively is shown in the 
appended table : 




IN 1857 AND 1900. 

(Fractions of pounds omitted.) 




Admiral of the Fleet 

2 190 I 

Table .Money (to C. in Chief) . 

M95J 3 ' 285 
1 8201 

1,095*101,642) 3,832 

cumstauce*, these 

Table Money (to C. in Chief) . 

IS 2 ' 910 

1 4(jQ| 

1,0*5 to 1.M3J 3,467 

from 250 to 500 as 

Table Money (to C. in Chief) . 
IJear-Admiral, or Commodore (1st Cl.) 
Table Money (to C. in Chief) . 



l,095*tol,642/ 3,102 
1,095 12,180 to 
1,095 to 1,6421 2,737 

of the retinue of 
servants which had 
been allowed in 1857. 

Additional to pay as Captain . j 

182 to 365 

182 to 365 

Total, with Command Money 

501 to 930 



'Less a deduction of "> if 
1 receiving instruction. 

Naval Cadet 


/ Xaval cadets in the 

Chief Gunner, Boatswain or Carpenter 
Gunner, Boatswain, Carpenter . 
Chief Inspector of Machinery . . . 

Fleet, Staff, or Chief Engineer . . . 

86 to 124 

182 to 328 

182 to 237 
100 to 182 
730 to 784 

255 to 638 

Britannia receive no 

I iy. 

45 to 91 extra to senior 
engineer officers of 

56 to 158 

Inspector General of Hospital ; . 
Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals. 

574 to 766 


383 to 693 

Surgeon, or Assistant-Surgeon . . ./ 
Fleet and Staff Paymaster, or Paymaster 

182 to 328 

249 to 600 
91 to 155 

209 to 282 
255 to 693 




The continuous service wages of Able Seamen (28 17s. lid.), 
Ordinary Seamen (22 16s. 3d.), and First Class Boys (10 12s. lid.), 
fixed in 1853, were not altered ere the end of the century ; but the 
introduction of extra pay for good conduct badges, for re-engagement, 
etc., and the creation of numerous new and specially paid ratings, 
gave the ambitious and capable seaman many opportunities of 
increasing his wages from time to time, and vastly ameliorated his 
financial prospects. 

Up to 1859 the naval reserves of the country consisted of (a) 
Eoyal Marines quartered ashore ; (b) the Coast Guard, which in 
the previous year had been transferred from the control of the 
Customs to that of the Admiralty ; (c) the Eoyal Naval Coast 
Volunteers l ; and (d) short service pensioners. In spite of the 
introduction of the Continuous Service System, 2 in 1853, and of the 
entry of seamen for ten years, considerable difficulty was still 

1 Raised 1853. They died out in 1873. 

2 See Vol. VI. p. 207. 


experienced in manning the fleet. For example, the Diadem, com- 
missioned in August, 1857, could not complete her crew unt 
January, 1858 ; the Benown, commissioned in November 1 
detained by lack of men for 172 days, and then sailed 62 short of 
her complement ; and the Marlborough, commissioned in 3 
1858, was similarly delayed for 129 days. 

To consider this unsatisfactory condition of affairs, and to rnal 
recommendations for its amelioration, a Royal Commission was 
appointed. It reported on February 19th, 1859, advocating among 
other things, the maintenance of at least five large traming-srnps 
the preparation of boys for the Navy ; the creation of larger reserves 
the better training of the reserves in gunnery ; improvements 
comforts and dietary of seamen ; modifications in the system o 
payment of wages, and of allotments, etc., etc. 

The first effect of the report was the issue, on April 27th, 1859, 
of an Admiralty Order, which slightly altered the scale of victual] 
authorised the supply to all boys and men on joining of bed, blanket, 
and bedcover, free of charge ; gave continuous service men < 
entering, and boys, on being rated as men a free part 
money in lieu of it*; and promised the gratuitous supply to ships 
commissioning of mess utensils, so soon as suitable ones 

be found. . , -o nva ] 

Other results which followed were the increase of the 
Marines, and of the Coast Guard, the introduction of training- 
ships for boys, and the establishment of a corps of Royal Nav ; 
Volunteers, a force which ultimately developed into the Royal 
Naval Reserve, the earliest commissions to which, as such, were 
dated in February, 1862. Various regulations for the officers 
this corps were subsequently embodied in Orders in Council dated 
respectively March 1st, 1864, October 15th, 1872, June 28th, 1 
and May 3rd, 1882. These were consolidated and revised by an 
Order of June 26th, 1886, which was further modified by Orders of 
February 7th, 1888, July 23rd, 1889, February 23rd, 1891, March 
20th 1891, May 9th, 1892, and May 16th, 1893. The whole regula- 


2 The uniform articles . , ,,s -,1. HJ . vo,, Q . 

fh ' \ t (No 2 cloth) 17s. 8d. ; blue clot 

kerchief, 2s. lOd. ; and shoes, 6s. Id. 


tions were again consolidated and revised in 1896 ; when the number 
of officers was fixed at 1800. An Order of June 29th, 1895, author- 
ised the entry of 100 officers of the mercantile marine (nearly 
all of whom were of the Koyal Naval Eeserve) as Supplementary 
Officers of the Koyal Navy in the ranks of Lieutenant and Sub- 
Lieutenant, and provided for their full pay, half pay, and retirement. 
An increase of this number was subsequently ordered. The total 
strength of the Eoyal Naval Eeserve at the end of the nineteenth 
century was 28,700 officers and men. In addition, there were also 
available as reserves 11,952 seamen and Eoyal Marine pensioners. 
The whole number of officers and men, including the active list and 
all reserves, at disposal for naval services was, nominally, 145,532. 
A new force, the Eoyal Fleet Eeserve, designed to consist of seamen 
and Eoyal Marines who have been discharged with or without 
pensions, and eventually to supersede the old seamen pensioner 
reserve, was planned and decided upon in 1900 but no men were 
entered until later. In the same year also two important steps 
were taken towards the creation of additional and more efficient 
naval reserve forces in her Majesty's dominions beyond the seas. 
New Zealand initiated the discussion among the Australasian 
colonies of a project for the establishment of reserves both military 
and naval ; and fifty Newfoundland fishermen belonging to the 
naval reserve of the island were embarked in H.M.S. Ckanjbdis, 
Captain George Augustus Giffard, for a six months' training cruise 
in the West Indies. Concerning the ordinary naval ' resources of 
the colonies a few words will be said later. 1 

For nearly twenty years, towards the end of the century, yet 
another naval reserve existed in the shape of the Eoyal Naval 
Artillery Volunteers, which were raised under an Act of August 5th, 
1873. 2 This body was intended to provide trained gunners for 
service within the home seas, and consisted for the most part of 
yacht-owners and professional men of good social standing. Its 
headquarters and drill-ship (first the Rainbow, and later the Frolic) 
was moored in the Thames, off Somerset House. Owing to re- 
grettable misunderstandings, frictions and jealousies, the corps was 
disbanded on April 1st, 1892. A few months before that date it had 
included 66 officers and 1849 men. 3 

For several years after 1856 the construction of wooden men- 

1 See p. 77 and note. 2 Modified in 1882 by the National Defence Act. 

3 Report of Sir Gr. Tryon's Committee, Apr. 7, 1891. 

C 2 


of -war, 1 of all classes, continued. The lessons of Kinburn, indeed, 
seemed to produce in England no tangible results whatsoever until 
the spring of 1859, when the first British sea-going armoured iron 
ship, the Warrior, was laid down at Blackwall. The armoured 
wooden floating batteries of the Trusty class, and the armoured iron 
floating batteries of the Erebus class, 2 built in 1854-56, remained, 
up to the Warrior's launch in December, 1860, the only ironclads 
belonging to her Majesty's fleet. Progress was at length forced 
upon the country by the action of France, which, suspending the 
completion of the original designs of four large and fast wooden 
screw ships which she had upon the stocks at Brest and Toulon, 
had begun to armour them, and to convert them from 90-gun 
vessels of the line to 36-gun frigates. One of these, the Gloire, was 
actually launched in November, 1859. 

Great Britain also adapted as ironclads a certain number of fine 
wooden ships which were available for the purpose at the time when 
it became evident that the armoured vessel must be the battleship 
of the future. These adapted ships were the following : 

Royal Oak, Caledonia, Prince Consort, and Ocean, originally designed and begun 
as wooden line-of-battleslrips of 91 guns, 3716 tons (old measurement), and 
800 H.P. nom., but converted, in accordance with an Admiralty Order of 
May 14, 1861, to armour-plated ships of about 6400 tons displacement, and 
from 3700 to 4240 H.P.I. As adapted, they were full-rigged broadside ships, 
with iron armour of a maximum thickness of 4J inches, carrying 24 6J-ton 
7-in. muzzle-loaders. They had single screws, and an extreme speed of from 
12 to 13 knots. All were launched in 1862 and 1863. 

Royal Alfred, originally designed and begun as a wooden line-of-battle ship of 
91 guns, 3716 tons (old measurement), and 800 H.P. nom., but converted, 
in accordance with an Admiralty Order of June 5, 1861, to an armour-plated 
ship of 6720 tons' displacement, and 3434 H.P.I. As adapted, she was a 
full-rigged broadside ship, with iron armour of a maximum thickness of 

1 This sketch of the progress of Naval Architecture during the years 1857-1900 is 
mainly based upon the following authorities : King, ' The Warships of Europe ' 
(1878); Very, 'Navies of the World' (1880); Heed, 'Our Ironclad Ships' (1869); 
Brassey, 'The British Navy ' (1882-83) ; White, 'A Manual of Naval Architecture' 
(1882) ; The Catalogue of the Museum at Greenwich, and the Collection of Ship 
Models there; Brassey, 'The Naval Annual' (1886-1901); Clowes, 'The Naval 
Pocket Book' (1896, etc.); Lloyd's 'Warships of the World' (annually); Busk, 
' The Navies of the World ' (1859) ; Armstrong, ' Torpedoes and Torpedo Vessels ' 
(1896) ; AVilliams, ' The Steam Navy of England ' (1893) ; and numerous articles and 
papers, especially in the Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects; The 
Year's Naval Progress (Washington) ; the Journal of the Royal United Service Insti- 
tution ; the Proceedings of the United States' Naval Institute (Annapolis) ; the 
Engineer ; and Engineering. 

2 See Vol. vi., p. 198. 


6 inches, carrying 18 6^-ton 7-in. muzzle-loaders. She had a single screw, 
and a speed of 12 3 knots, and was launched in 1864. 

Repulse, originally designed and begun as a wooden line-of-battle ship of tO guns, 
3074 tons (old measurement), and 800 H.P. nom., but converted, in accord- 
ance with an Admiralty Order of October 9, 1866, to an armour-plated ship 
of 6190 tons' displacement, and 3350 H.P.I. As adapted, she was a full- 
rigged broadside ship, with iron armour of a maximum thickness of 6 inches, 
carrying 12 8-in. 9-ton (but later 10 9-in. 12-ton) muzzle-loaders. She 
had a single screw, and a speed of about 12 knots, and was launched in 1868. 

Favorite, originally designed and begun as a wooden corvette of 22 guns, but con- 
verted, according to designs by Mr. E. J. Reed and the Controller's Department, 
in 1862, to a rigged, armour-plated corvette of 3169 tons' displacement, and 
1773 H.P.I., with iron armour of a maximum thickness of 4J inches, carrying 
10 8-in. 9-ton muzzle-loaders. She had a single screw, and a speed of 11 '8 
knots, and was launched in 1864. 

Ret-earcli, designed and begun as a wooden 17-gun sloop in 1861, but converted in 
1862 to an armoured, rigged vessel, and launched in 1863. Displacement, 
1680 tons; speed 10'3 knots; thickest armour 4J inches; 4 7-in. 6i-ton 

The above, as converted, differed outwardly in no essential 
respects from their immediate predecessors, the wooden screw 
battleships and frigates. They were still fine specimens of the 
old picturesque style of naval architecture, and were fairly good 
craft under sail. 

The only other wooden ship, the Royal Sovereign, which was 
converted to an ironclad for the British Navy received very different 
treatment. She was cut down, armoured all over, supplied merely 
with three light pole masts, and furnished with four armoured 
revolving turrets, which were placed on the upper deck in the 
middle line of the ship. Although herself of little practical use, 
she was a most important and significant craft, in that she 
embodied the first British admission of two novel principles which, 
many years afterwards, obtained universal acceptance; viz., that 
sail-power had ceased to be useful in vessels intended for heavy 
fighting ; and that the main armament of every ship intended for 
heavy fighting should be protected as completely as possible, and 
should moreover be so mounted as to have as near an approach 
as might be to all-round fire. In addition, possessing a relatively 
low freeboard, the converted Royal Sovereign had the advantage. of 
offering but a proportionately small target to an enemy. These 
features were all due to the advocacy of Captain Cowper Phipps 
Coles, E.N., C.B. 

Royal Sovereign, originally launched in 1857 as a wooden line-of-battle ship of 131 
guns, 3765 tons (old measurement), and 800 H.P. nom., was converted, in 


accordance with an Admiralty Order of April 3rd, 1862, to an armoured 
turret-ship of 4965 tons' displacement, and 800 H.P. nom. As adapted, she 
had iron armour of a maximum thickness of 5J inches, and carried 5 9-in. 
12-ton muzzle-loaders, one in each of her three aftermost turrets, and two in 
the foremost one. She had a single screw, and a speed of 11 knots, and was 
undocked in 1864. 

It has been said that the iron-hulled armoured ship Warrior 
was laid down in the spring of 1859 ; yet it should be added here 
that, for several years later, the Admiralty seemed unable to make 
up its mind whether, after all, iron was or was not to be the building 
material of future heavy fighting ships. In that period of apparent 


[Launched as a 131-gun ship of the line, 1857 : converted to an ironrlad turret-ship, at 

Portsmouth, 1802-64.] 

doubt and hesitation it caused both iron-hulled and wooden-hulled 
armoured ships to be constructed. The wooden-hulled ones are 
briefly noted below : 

Lord Clyde and Lord Warden, laid down in 1863, after designs hy Mr. E. J. Reed, 
and the Controller's Department, as single-screw, wooden-hulled, armoured 
broadside ships of 7602 and 7839 tons' displacement, and 6034 and 6706 
H.P.I, respectively ; each fully rigged, and ultimately carrying 18 6-ton 7-in. 
muzzle-loaders. Speed, about 13 '5 knots. Launched respectively in 1864 
and 18C5. Maximum thickness of iron armour 5 inches. 

Zealous, laid down in October, 1859, after designs by the same, as a single-screw, 
wooden-hulled, armoured, broadside ship of 6102 tons' displacement, and 
3623 H.P.I. ; rigged ; and ultimately carrying 20 6^-ton 7-in. muzzle-loaders. 
Speed, 11 -7 knots. Launched in 1864. Maximum thickness of iron armour, 
4J inches. 











,D ' O) 
*-*' * 

s 15 
s a.a 

3 I 

H 1 Bfldj 

M tS S 


S a t 

S5 S 

o " 


~ g 

5 "3 

p, a 

.2 -5 

O 'C 




Pallas (laid down 1863, launched 1865), a single-screw, wooden-hulled, rigged, 
armoured, broadside corvette, designed by Mr. E. J. Reed, and the Controller's 
Department. Displacement, 3661 tons ; H.P.I., 3581 ; speed 13 knots ; 
maximum thickness of armour 4j inches ; ultimate armament, 8 8-in. 9-ton 

Enterprise, laid down in 1862, after designs by the same, as a single-screw, 
wooden-hulled, rigged, armoured sloop of 993 tons' displacement, and 9'9 
knots' speed, carrying 4 7-in. 6i ton guns. Launched iu 1864. Maximum 
thickness of iron armour, 4J inches. In this case, although the hull was of 
wood the upper works were of iron. 

' Thus, from 1859 until 1866, the Admiralty still thought it worth 
while either to build wooden ironclads or to armour existing wooden 
hulls. From 1866, however, that idea was definitely abandoned, 
the Order for the conversion of the Repulse being the final symptom 
of official hesitation. 

The rise of the iron-built, sea-going ironclad, and its develop- 
ment may now be studied without further interruption. 

At first the traditions of the old wooden navy greatly influenced 
the designs of all new fighting-ships, and vessels continued to be 
built not only with heavy rigging and large sail-power, but also 
with their guns disposed, as previously, in broadside along the 
major parts of their length. The armoured ships, arranged in 
order of their launch, which were constructed on this principle 
were : 



Date of 

ment in 




Gun. 3 

No. of 




Warrior 1 . 






95 cwt. 68 pr. 



Black Prince 1 






95 cwt. 68 pr. 



Defence i .... 






95 cwt. 68 pr. 



Resistance ' . . . 






6J ton 7 in. 








7 in. B. 



Valiant .... 






6iton 7 in. 



5 720 



6i ton 7 in. 



Minotaur 2. 






7 in. B. 



Agincourt z 






12 ton 9 in. 



Northumberland 2 






12 ton 9 iu. 



' Only central part armoured. 2 End to end armour on water-line. 

3 As originally designed. The largest guns in nil these cases, except where otherwise slated, were muzzle- 
loaders. The breech-loaders were of the early Armstrong screw type. See p. 44. They were soon superseded. 

The next developments which were generally adopted were the 
confinement of the heavy armament of the ironclad vessel to a 
central battery, where it was mounted behind comparatively thick 
iron armour, and shut off fore and aft by armoured bulkheads ; and 
the restriction of armour elsewhere to the neighbourhood of the 
water-line. The ships of this class, as successively launched, are 



catalogued below. All were, as before, heavily rigged ; and, as 
regards general appearance, the old lines were preserved, except 
that the ram bow, 1 which was not introduced in some of the earliest 
ironclads, and which was adopted largely in consequence of the 
advocacy of Admiral Sir George Kose Sartorius, had become a 
regular feature. 


Name Date of 

ment in H.P.I. 


Armour. 3 


No. of 





Ton. In. 

Bellerophon 1865 

7,650 6,520 



12 9 



Penelope^ . 1867 

4,470 4,700 



12 9 



Hercules . : 1868 

8,680 7.840 



18 10 



Audacious 1 ' 189 

6,010 4,830 



12 9 



Invincible^ < 1869 

6,010 4,830 



12 9 



Iron Duke ' ] 1870 

6,010 3,520 



12 9 



Vanguard l 1869 

6,010 3,. ',00 



12 9 



Sultan . . ' 1870 

9,200 7,7'JO 



18 10 



Bmiftsure . 1870 

6,910 4,910 

13 7 


12 9 



Triumph . 1870 

6,640 5,110 



12 9 



.Alexandra ' 1875 

9,490 8,610 



25 11 



Su/erb^ . 1875 

9,170 6,r,80 



18 10 



BelleisleU 1876 

4,870 3,200 



25 12 



tOrwm'2 . 1879 

4,870 4,040 



V5 12 



l Twin screws. 

2 Purchased in 1874 : originally ordered for Turkey. 
* All l.eavy guns were muzzle-loader.*. 

Armour iron. 

Each of the above had a complete water-line belt, with good 
protection over the central battery. The Alexandra was the earliest 
of the above to be provided with a substantial deck of steel in the 
neighbourhood of the water-line ; but it was not curved below the 
water-line at its edges, and was not so arranged as to deflect 
upwards any projectiles that might enter the vessel near the line of 
flotation, and thus to protect the machinery. In her case this deck 
was two inches thick. It was mainly designed as a protection 
against plunging fire. Save for this belt, the entire hull of the 
Alexandra, as of the other craft in the list, was of iron, neither 
compound armour nor steel as a building material having yet come 
into use. 

Although, for the six years after 1859 the broadside-rigged iron- 
clad, and for the ten or twelve years after 1865 the central- battery 
rigged ironclad met, upon the whole, with most favour at the 
Admiralty, it must not be supposed that these types of heavy 
fighting ships were ever without competitors. Captain Cowper 

1 The popular and exaggerated estimate of the value of this was greatly increased 
in 1875, when, c>n Pept. 2, the Iron Duke, in a fog off Wicklow, accidentally rammed 
her sister ship, the Vanguard, which sank within an hour. As a matter of fact, the 
ram has proved to be irore dangerous in accident than formidable in action. See 
Author's Lecture at R.U.S.I., Jan. 19, 189i. 




Warrior. 1859. 


Minotaur. 1861. 


/ro/r. Royal Sovereign. Hull *u 

. , , , 

Arm Iron. Betlerophon . 1864- Hull Iron. J 

V 1 - ;;;- v^ 

t.'t C- 1 .' *'" i 

Arm Iron. Hercules 1866. Huirtron../ 

Arm. Iron. Monarch . 1866. 


Arm. Iron. Audacious . 1867 Hull. Iron. 

Arm Iron. Glatton. 1869. Hull Iron. 

//-on Devastation 1869 . Hull Iron 

B 12 

ndra. 1873. 

I y*rm iron. Temeraire. 

1873. Hull. I 

British Ironclads . 1859 1573 
Figures give the thickness of armour in inches* 

^By kind permission, from Mr. H. W~ Wilsun'ts 'Ironclads in Action.") 

(.To face p. 24. 


Phipps Coles, who had been mainly responsible for the cutting 
down and conversion of the Royal Sovereign in 1862-64, was still 
a living and very active advocate of the turret principle ; and 
Mr. E. J. Eeed, who was Chief Constructor from 1863 to 1870, 
while disagreeing with Captain Coles on most points of detail, 
realised that the plan of giving the maximum protection and the 
maximum arc of fire to an armoured ship's heaviest guns was one 
which deserved the most favourable consideration. Moreover, the 
battle of Hampton Koads, in March, 1862, and numerous other 
actions during the Civil War in America, demonstrated that, for 
work of certain kinds, the monitor, or turret-ship, was a most useful 
and formidable craft. 

Other ideas, also, were abroad as to the best methods of com- 
promising the claims of the various new factors which, as time went 
on, seemed to demand inclusion in the ideal fighting ship, yet which, 
it was amply evident, could not all receive equal consideration. 
Very heavy guns were called for by some ; very thick armour was 
considered indispensable by others ; and while one party asked for 
a complete water-line belt, another party urged the naval architects 
to devote even more attention to the protection of the armament 
than to the protection of the life of the ship. Yet other conflicting 
and almost irreconcilable claims were put forward on behalf of 
high speed, of great coal-capacity, of large sail-power, of lofty free- 
board, of seaworthiness and steadiness of gun-platform, and of small 
size, shallow draught, and comparative invisibility to an enemy's 

For nearly twenty years these and other problems troubled the 
minds of naval architects all the world over. In Great Britain they 
led to the construction of numerous armoured ships which are 
catalogued below. Some of them were not sea-going ; others, 
though sea-going, were scarcely fit, even in their best days, for the 
line-of-battle ; but they are all included, for the reason that each 
one may be deemed to have contributed something, if only a little, 
either to the development of that type of heavy fighting ship which 
was generally acknowledged to be the best at the end of the nine- 
teenth century, or to the establishment of certain doctrines which 
began to be accepted about the years 1870-74, and which led later 
to the subdivision of all new vertically-armoured warships into 
three definite groups, viz., battleships, armoured cruisers, and coast- 
defence ironclads. 






Date of 

ment in 





No. Of 




Ton. In. 

Scorpion l . 

E. T. 2. 






12- 9 



Wirern 1 ... 

li. T. 2. 






12 9 



Prince A tbe't. . 

M. T. 4. 






12 9 



Viper 2 .... 







64 7 

.- 2 


Vixen -. 







6* 1 



Waterwitchs . . 







6* 7 



Monarch . 

E. T. 2. 






2) 12 




R. T. -2. 



900 N. 



25 12 



Hotspur? . 

R. T. 1. 






25 12 



G'latton - 

11. I' 1. 






25 12 



Cyclop* 2 

AI r 2 






18 10 



Gorgtm 2 

'M r 2 






18 10 



Hecate - 

\i. r 2. 






18 10 



Hydra. 2 

M J' 2 




It -2 


18 10 



Devastation- . 

M. r.2. 






35 12 



Thunderer 2 . 







38 12-5 



Rupert- . . . 

E. T. 1. 






18 10 



A'eptunc 1 . . . 

R. T. 2. 






38 12-6 



Dreadnought - 

M. T.2. 






38 12-5 



Shannon . 

Pt. Bl. Cr. 






18 105 



Nelson? . . . 

K. Bl. Cr. 






18 10 s 



Xorlhampton - 

Pt. 111. Cr. 






18 10* 



Trmtrttirt - 

Bar. 2, -B. 






2.) 12 



Inflexible - . . 

K.T. 2. 





24 '0 

80 165 



Agamemnon - 

R. T. 2. 






38 12-55 


40 i 

AJax? .... 







33 12-55 



1 Originally built for abroad ; purchased by the Admiralty. 

- Twiu screws. 

* Hydraulic gunboat, designed by V.-Adm. (Jcortre Elliot (4). Ruthveu's propelling system. 

4 In this column, R. means rigged; 'I'. 1, turret-ship with onetunet; T. 2, tunet-ship with two turrets; 
Br., having guns behind a breastwork; II., mastless j Pt. Bl. Cr., partially belted cruiser ; .Bar. 2, C.-B., ship 
with two barbettes and a central battery. 

5 These ships had armoured protective decks, intended to f'efk'ct upwards projectiles entering in the neigh- 
bourhood of llie water-line. 

NOTE. All heavy guns in the above were muzzle-loaders. All the above vessels had iron hulls. Very 
.-iinilar to the fyclops and her >isters were the Cerberus, built in lifS for Victoria, and the Magdala and 
Abyssinia, built in 1870 for India. 

The most interesting and significant ships in the above list were 
the Monarch, the Captain, the Devastation (with her two kindred 
ships, Thunderer and Dreadnought), the Shannon, the Temcraire, 
and the Inflexible (with her smaller cousins, Agamemnon and Ajax). 
It has been already pointed out that in the ten or twelve years after 
1865 the central-battery rigged ironclad (class 2 above) met upon 
the whole with most favour at the Admiralty as the best type of 
heavy fighting-ship. The vessels in class 3 may be regarded as 
experiments in the direction of finding a yet better type. 

The Monarch, designed under the direction of Mr. E. J. Eeed, 
embodied an attempt to combine the advantages of a high-freeboard 
masted ship with those of a turret vessel. In addition to her four 
heaviest guns in the two turrets, she carried somewhat lighter 
weapons under her raised poop and forecastle ; and in that respect 
she differed from previous British turret ships, each of which had 
carried the whole of her heavy armament in the turrets. It was 


a gain, of course, to be able thus to carry six or seven guns instead 
of only four. On the other hand, the raised poop and forecastle 
masked part of the fire from the turrets, and so limited the useful- 
ness of the powerful and well-protected guns there. This defect 
constituted the Monarch's great drawback. Her freeboard of 14 ft. 
made her a useful ship at sea. 

The Captain, designed by Captain Cowper Phipps Coles, 
E.N.,C.B., assisted by Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, was the pro- 
duction of an amateur. Coles was strongly opposed to the high free- 
board, which formed one of the leading features of the Monarch. He 
desired a low freeboard turret-ship, in order that she might present as 
small a target as possible to the enemy. Curiously enough, how- 
ever, he reverted to masts and sails, and rigged his vessel heavily. 
Even with her intended freeboard of 8 ft. 6 in., she would have been 
unsafe in a heavy sea unless very carefully handled ; but unfortu- 
nately, owing to errors on the part of her designer, her actual free- 
board was but 6 ft. 8 in. After having made two cruises in the 
Channel, and having, by her behaviour, caused some of her bitterest 
opponents to modify their opinion of her, she sailed again with the 
Channel Fleet under Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, K.C.B. ; and, on 
the night of September 6th, 1870, during a south-westerly gale, she 
capsized in a fierce squall, and went to the bottom, carrying with 
her the whole of those on board except eighteen persons. The 
number of souls who perished was 475, among them being her com- 
mander, Captain Hugh Talbot Burgoyne, V.C., and her misguided 
designer, Captain Coles. 1 This terrible catastrophe condemned for 
ever the low freeboard rigged turret-ship. 

The Devastation, and her successors, the very similar Thunderer 
and Dreadnought (all of which were closely allied to the smaller 
non-seagoing ironclads, Glatton, Cyclops, Gorgon, Hecate, and 
Hydra), forestalled rather than profited by the dreadful lesson taught 
by the fate of the Captain, for the Devastation was laid down ten 
months before the disaster. The type was designed by Mr. E. J. 
Eeed, C.B. In it masts and sails were frankly and completely 
abandoned, the result being the creation of some most successful 
and safe low freeboard turret-ships. But in one respect the new 
vessels were inferior to the Monarch. Though they possessed all- 
round fire, they mounted only four heavy guns apiece, and had no 
secondary armament whatsoever. 

1 Proe. of C. M. : Parl. Paper 1871, 42. 


The Shannon, with her larger but similar successors, the Nelson 
and the Northampton, is interesting for more than one reason ; 
although the type was not a very successful one. The Shannon was 
not a battleship, but she was intended to combine some of the 
features of the battleship with those of the cruiser, and she was 
specially designed for fighting bows on. Abaft her foremast, there- 
fore, she had a respectably thick armoured bulkhead with recessed 
ports. Forward of this, there was no vertical armour ; but there 
was an under-water steel protective deck, curving downwards 
towards the ram, and shielding the ship's vitals. Abaft the bulkhead, 
as far as the stern, ran a water-line belt of vertical armour, the lower 
edge of which touched the lower edge of the protective deck ; but, 
except the forward bulkhead, there was no protection for the men at 
the guns, so that the vessel, if regarded broadside on, might be 
called a partially belted cruiser, while, if regarded bows on, she 
resembled a central-battery battleship with an unarmoured bow. 
The protective deck, as employed in the Shannon, was built into 
nearly all subsequent British ironclads, and into all large cruisers, 
whether armoured or not. 

The Temeraire marked a great advance, and embodied more than 
one valuable new feature, though she was without the protective 
deck, and had merely thin horizontal above-water plating to keep 
out light plunging fire. Near each end of the ship, above the upper 
deck, rose an armoured barbette, or open non-revolving turret ; and 
in each of these was a heavy gun, which fired over the edge of the 
barbette and had a very wide command. The guns in this case 
were so arranged as to disappear behind the protection after their 
discharge, and to be revolved, and again brought up to the firing 
position by hydraulic power. Between these two barbettes, with its 
guns on a lower level, was an armoured central-battery, mounting 
six heavy pieces ; and lower down, along the entire length of the 
ship, was a water-line belt of thick vertical armour. In this type, 
the biggest guns of all were in two barbettes on the upper deck, 
above the keel-line of the ship ; and a strong secondary armament 
was in an armoured box-battery between them. The design, due to 
Mr. Nathaniel Barnaby, had in it the germ of ideas which a few 
years later, entered into the normal and accepted battleship types of 
Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Eussia, and 
to some extent of France also. 

The Inflexible and her kindred were set-backs. Each of them 


had two very heavily armoured turrets, placed close together diagon- 
ally across the upper deck ; and in each turret each had two very 
heavy guns. Under and around the turrets, from the deck to below 
the water-line, was a thickly armoured rectangular citadel, forming 
the central third of the ship, but elsewhere there was neither vertical 
armour nor, in the case of the Inflexible, heavy gun of any sort. 
The only armoured protection to the long ends of the ships were 
steel 3-in. decks, and it was generally supposed that if one of the 
unarmoured ends of any of these vessels were much injured by shot 
or otherwise in the neighbourhood of the water-line, the result would 
be fatal. It was an extreme instance of taking care of the gun at 
the expense of the ship. 

At about the time when these last vessels were in process of 
construction several significant and revolutionary facts forced them- 
selves before the attention of the naval architect : 

a. Not only the automobile torpedo, but also the fast torpedo-boat, 
had brought forward factors which could not be neglected. Provision 
must be made for defence against them, and also for their due 

5. The development of the power of the heavy gun had rendered 
the old iron armour almost useless. If, as in the case of the 
Agamemnon, 1 it were piled on in some places to a thickness of 18 
inches, it would, it was true, defeat all save the very largest guns, 
but, at the same time, it could be carried only on a very small pro- 
portion of the total exposed surface. An armour giving equal or 
more resistance with less thickness and weight must be sought for. 

c. Steel had become available as a building material, and was 
about to supersede iron entirely for that purpose. 

d. The slowness of fire of heavy muzzle-loading guns, even when 
worked hydraulically, and their other disadvantages, taken in con- 
junction with the general adoption of breechloaders by foreign nations, 
had long since called for a change in the armament of British warships. 

e. The invention of slow-burning powders for heavy guns, destined 
to give high velocities to their projectiles, demanded the use of a 
much longer barrel than could be given to any ship's muzzle-loader ; 
which had necessarily to be sponged and loaded from the forward 
end, and to be run in-board for that purpose. Therefore, unless 
high velocities as well as quickness of fire were to be dispensed with, 
long breechloading guns must be mounted. Long guns, which did 

1 Some of the Inflexible s armour was compound. 


not require to be run in, could easily be fought from positions 
whence even much shorter and vastly inferior guns, if muzzle- 
loaders, could not be fought at all. 

/. The appearance of the quick-firing gun, and of machine-guns, 
indicated that it was time to devote attention to the secondary and 
subsidiary as well as to the primary armaments of new ships. The 
ideal fighting craft could no longer afford to mount two, four, or six 
very heavy guns, and little or nothing else. She must be able to 
meet quick-firing gun with quick-firing gun, and machine-gun with 
machine-gun, or risk finding herself at the mercy of an opponent 
perhaps far smaller than herself. If heavy armour was necessary to 
keep out heavy projectiles, light armour was equally necessary to 
keep out light ones. 

g. Marine engines and boilers had been immensely improved ; and 
the importance of speed was becoming clearer daily, from the point 
of view not only of tactics but also of strategy. It was obviously 
not sufficient that Great Britain's fastest armoured ship should have 
a paper speed of only 14 9 knots, and an actual continuous steaming 
speed of at least two knots less. Great radius of action, meaning 
great bunker capacity, was another desideratum, if fast vessels were 
to maintain their speed over long distances, and so derive full 
advantage from it. 

h. Finally, apart from many other considerations, masts and yards 
had ceased to be useful in heavy fighting ships. They would be 
sources of danger in action, especially when exposed to the effect 
of quick-firing guns ; and besides involving weight to be carried, 
they involved weight to be carried in the most inconvenient position. 
They also afforded great resistance to the course of a vessel steaming 
against a wind. Ships of the Devastation type had proved that they 
could dispense with them. At the same time, if only for signalling and 
look-out purposes, masts of some sort were desirable ; and if machine- 
guns could be mounted in their tops, perhaps so much the better. 

The result was the construction in England of a certain number 
of heavy fighting ships of what may be called tentative types. The 
time had come when the nature of most of the problems needing 
solution was recognised, and when it was known what desirable 
features presented themselves for inclusion in that all-round com- 
promise which, unfortunately, even the finest and largest battleship 
stands for. The upshot of the work done in this tentative period 
was (a) the realisation of the fact that many ironclads of earlier 



dates had ceased to be useful save for coast-defence or guardship 
purposes, although they had been built originally for sea-service, and 
(b) the appearance of the fast armoured cruiser as a vessel distinct 
from the battleship, yet capable, perhaps, of doing some of her work. 

No. of Guns. 


Bute of 


ment In 


















Tons In. 



C M. T. 1. ) 
{ Br. B. / 





45 12 





Colossus i 


M. T. 2. 





45 12 





Collingwood . . 


< M. Bar. 2. 1 
I C. B. ) 





45 12 





Impe'rieuse- . 


R. liar. 4. 





22 9-2 





Rodney * . 


/ M. Bar. 2. \ 
\ C. B. / 





67 13-5 





Hero .... 


; M.T.I, \ 

( Br. B. 1 





45 12 





Jlenbmv . 


/ M. Bar. 2. \ 
{ C. B. ) 





111 16-25 


10 | 26 


Camperdown 4 . 


f M. Bar. 2.1 
I C. B. / 





67 13-5 





Oilando 5 . 


Pt. Bl. Cr. 





22 9 





Sans Pareil ' 


I M. T..1. 1 
I Br. B. ) 





111 16-25 





Trafalgar ~ . 


f M. T. 2. ) 
I C. B. ) 





67 13-5 





1 Similar to the Coloiias was the Edinburgh (1882). 2 Similar to the Imperieuit was the Warspite (1884). 
3 Similar to the Rodney was the Howe (1885). * Similar to the Camperdown was the Anson (1886). 5 Similar 
to the Orlando were ihe Australia, Narcissus, and Undaunted (1886), and Aurora, Galatea, Immortality (1887). 
Similar to the Sans Pareil was the Victoria (1887). ' Similar to the Trafalgar was the Hile (1888). 

8 In this column, M., mastless ; T. 1, T. 2, turret-ship with one or two turrets ; Br. B., broadside battery ; 
Bar. 2, ship with two barbettes; C. B., central battery; K., rigged; Pt. Bl. Cr., partially belted cruiser. 

' Exclusive of machine and boat guns. 

' ' NOTE. All the above had twin-screws and were fitted with tubes for the discharge of Whitehead torpedoes. 
All, also, carried breech-loading guns exclusively, and had compound vertical armour, and steel protective decks. 
All had steel hulls. 

The above vessels, especially so far as the battleships among 
them are concerned, represent the efforts of the designers not only 
to protect the vitals of the ship and the primary armament as well 
as possible, but also to provide a respectable secondary armament, 
and to mount it in the best part of the ship. The Conqueror and 
Sans Pareil show a tendency in one direction. In them, as in the 
Shannon, of Class 3, the plans were based chiefly upon the assumption 
that the vessels would do their main fighting bows on to the foe. 
Both the heavy armour, therefore, and the heavy armament were 
put forward ; the protection of the aftermost compartments was left 
to the armoured deck ; and the stern fire was relatively weak. The 
Hero was to all intents and purposes a replica of the Conqueror, except 
that she carried her secondary armament, of 6-inch guns, on her 
upper instead of on her main deck. The type soon fell into disfavour. 


The Colossus embodied a development of the Inflexible and 
Agamemnon types of Class 3, the diagonal arrangement of turrets 
being retained, but an effort also being made to provide in a satis- 
factory manner for a fairly powerful secondary battery. The attempt 
was not very successful ; and no further experiments were made along 
those lines. The type is one which died out quickly. 

The Collingwood, the earliest of the "Admiral" type of battle- 
ships, was similar in general arrangement to the Rodney, Eenbow, 
and Camperdown, which followed her, and, to some extent also, to 
the Trafalgar. She may be regarded as a development of the 
Temeraire type, in Class 3, the Temeraire herself being a kind of 
compromise between the central-battery ships of Class 2 and the 
sea-going monitors of Mr. E. J. Eeed's design, such as the Devasta- 
tion. It was no longer assumed by the constructors that the ship 
would be called upon to do her hardest fighting bows on to the 
enemy. On the contrary, it was sought to give the ship, so far as 
it could be managed, equal offensive strength in all directions. With 
this aim in view, the primary armament was equally divided, and 
placed half at one end and half at the other end of the ship in 
barbettes or turrets, where it could fire both parallel with and at 
right angles to the keel-line of the vessel ; and the secondary 
armament, half on each broadside, in a battery occupying the middle 
space on deck between the barbettes or turrets, was so arranged that 
all the guns on each side had a wide arc of fire, while the end guns 
those at each corner of the central battery could also fire in a 
direction nearly parallel with the keel-line. 

This type of battleship found favour at once. The earliest 
exponents of it had too little water-line protection. For example, 
the Collingwood, though 325 feet long, had only 150 feet of that 
length protected with vertical armour. Again, the earliest expo- 
nents of the type had no armour whatsoever to cover the men 
at the guns in the central battery. Improvements were presently 
made in the direction of lengthening the armoured belt ; armouring 
the central battery ; dividing off the guns in the central battery by 
means of screens, or by placing them singly in armoured casemates ; 
sponsoning out the broadside guns, so as to give them a still wider 
radius of fire ; giving the ships higher freeboard, and raising the 
height above water of the primary armament ; and, in cases where 
turrets were not used, covering the breech-ends of the barbette guns 
with armoured hoods which revolved with them. The outcome of 



these and other improvements was the standard type of British 
battleship, which held its position almost unchallenged during the 
last twelve years of the nineteenth century, although, of course, it 
still continued to be improved in detail year after year. 

Of the two types of armoured cruisers in Class 4, the earlier, the 
Imperieuse type, though it proved itself useful, developed no further. 
The later, the Orlando type, had an arrangement of its primary and 
secondary armaments similar to that which formed the peculiar 
feature of the Collingwood and her successors. For some years 
after the building of the Orlando and her consorts, the construction 
of armoured cruisers was neglected in England ; but when it was 
resumed, in 1897, the standard type selected bore a strong resem- 
blance, so far as disposition of armament was concerned, both to the 
Collingwood and to the Orlando. 

It now remains to complete the list of British ironclads up to 
the end of 1900 by giving tables of the battleships and armoured 
cruisers of what I have ventured to call the standard types : 


No. of Guns. 


Date of 

ment in H.P.I. 





S b 

. Comple- 
E> ment. 




Knots. In. 

Ton. In. 

Hood'. . . . 


14,150 13,000 



67 13-5 



22 634 

Itrryal Sovereign 2 


14,150 13,000 



67 13-5 



22 712 

C'enturion 3 1892 

10,500 13,000 



29 10 



20 620 

Renown * . 1H95 

12,350 12,000 



29 10 



24 674 

Magnificent ' 1894 

14,900 12,000 

17 -S 


46 12 



28 1 757 

Canopus'. 1897 ' 12,950 13~500 18-25 


46 12 



16 750 

formidable" 1898 15,000 15,000 


50 12 



22 i 750 

Aondon' . 1899 

15,000 15.000 



50 12 



22 750 

Russell". Mdg. 1900 14,000 18JOOO 

19-0 12-0" 

50 12 



16 750 

Queen" . pro. 1900 15,000 15,000 

18-0 12-0" 

50 12 


I Laid down under the Naval Defence Act, 1889 ; a turret-ship. Otherwise practically the same as tlie ships 
f the Royal Sovereign type. 

* Laid down under the Naval Defence Act, 1889 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Royal Sovereign were the 
Kmpress of India, (1X91), and Ramillies, Repulse, Resolution, Revenge, and Royal Oak (1892). 

s Estimates of 1890-91 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Centurion was the Harfleur (1892). 

4 Estimates of 1892-93; a barbette ship. 

Estimates of 1893-94, and 1894-95 ; a barbette sbip. Similar to the Magnificent were the Majestic, 
Hannibal, Jupiter, Prince George, and Victorious (1895), and the Ccesar, Illustrious, and Mars (1896). 

Estimates of 1896-97 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Canopus were the Albion, Goliath, and Ocean (1898), 
and the Vengeance and Glory (1899). 

' Estimates of 1897-98 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Formidable were the Irresistible (1898) and the 
Implacable (1899). 

Estimates of 1898-99 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Ixmdon were the Rulwark and Venerable (1899). 

Supplementary Estimates of 1898, and Estimates of 1899-1900; a barbette ship. Similar to the Russell 
were the Duncan, Cornwallis, Exmoutli, Mbemarle and Montagu, all still building at the end of 1900. 

i Estimates of 1900-1901 ; a barbette ship. Similar to the Queen was the Prince of Wales. Neither had 
bee" laid down at the end of 1900. 

I 1 Compound, and steel armour. 

12 Compound, and steel armour, the latter being mckel-eteel in the case of the Ramillies, Repulse, Revenge, 
anil Royal Oak. 

" Compound, and nickel-steel armonr. " Harveyed steel armour. Krupp steel armour. 



The modifications in the disposition of the armour on the citadel 
in these successive types will best be understood after an examina- 
tion of the accompanying plans. It will be noticed that although 
throughout the heaviest armour continued to be concentrated about 
the vitals of the ship, a tendency gradually sprang up to armour the 
forward end of the ship as well, even although only comparatively 
thin plates could be carried there. An increasing amount of protec- 
tion, also, was given to the secondary armament. 

The Formidable, London, and Queen types in the above list were 
practically identical. Together they constituted a homogeneous 
group of eight first-class battleships, which may be regarded as the 


Armour, K.S. 

A. 12 in. B. 

B. 6 in. Q. 

pr. Q. 
D. 3 pr. Q. 

(From ' Tlie Naval Pocket Book,' 1901.) 

best heavy fighting vessels that British naval architects and ship- 
builders of the nineteenth century were capable of producing. Some 
additional description of them should, therefore, be given here. The 
following details are chiefly from my ' K aval Pocket Book ' : 1 

Hull, steel. Hooded barbettes, 2. Funnels, fore and aft, 2. Military masts with 

1 top on each, 2. 

Length, 400 ft. Beam, 75 ft. Mean draught, 20 ft, 9 in. 
Displacement, 15,000 tons. H.P.I. 15,000. Extreme speed, 18 knots. 
Coal capacity : from 900 to 2200 tons, giving a radius of action of from 3000 to 

7000 miles at 10 knots. 

1 Edition for 1901, by L. G. Carr Laughton. 





.9 a 


10 6 








c ^ 





S.H 10 

? '= U" 






= 2! 

p rt 






. n 

a . c-r ?'" a 

B 1 i!S 


g S llS 

E s 3d 

a I!B 



Engines: Two sets of 3-cylinder triple-expansion. Boilers, for the most part 
Belleville water-tube, 20 in number, with economisers, and with a heating- 
surface of 37,000 square feet. The Queen was to have Yarrow boilers. 

Armour: Krupp steel partial belt, 21G ft. long, 15 ft. deep, and 9 in. thick. 
Cross bulkheads 9 to 12 in. Barbettes, 12, 10, and 6 in. Barbette-hoods, 10, 
8, and 3 in. Protective deck, 2 to 3 in. Main deck, 1 in. From fore-end of 
citadel to point of ram, a 2 in. belt, 15 ft. deep. Fore conning-tower, 14 in., 
with 8-in. communication tube. After couning-tovver, 3 in., with 3-in. tube. 

Armament; 4-12 in. 50-ton wire-bound breechloaders: 12 6-in. 45 calibre quick- 
firers in armoured casemates; 16 12-pr. quickfirers ; 2 12-pr. boat or field 
guns; 6 3-pr. quickfirers; 8'45-in. Maxim automatic machine-guns. The 
heavy guns capable of being loaded in any position. Torpedo ejectors (18 in.) 
4 ; 3 being submerged, and 1 above water at the stern. Search-lights, C. 
Boats, 18, 4 being steam-boats, and 3 being fitted to discharge 14-in. 

The ships were divided into about 150 water-tight compartments, and had 
upwards of 200 water-tight doors. Apart from the main (propelling) engines, 
there were about 100 others, for driving pumps, fans, dynamos, steering- 
gear, capstans, hoisting apparatus, etc., etc. The cost of a completed ship 
of the type, when ready for sea, was about 1,250,000. 


Armour, K.S., but 
H.N.S. on turrets. 

A. 6 in. Q. 

B. 12 pr. Q. 


(" County " Class of 1899-1SW1.) 
(.From ' The Naval Pocket Book,' 1901.) 

After the building of the two ships of the Imperieuse type in 
1883-84, and of the seven of the Orlando type in 1886-87 (see 
Class 4), the construction of armoured cruisers by Great Britain 
was completely suspended for ten years. The numerous and fine 
cruisers which were built had no vertical armour whatsoever, except, 
in some cases, over their principal guns, and, in most cases, on their 
conning-towers ; and they relied for the maintenance of their 
buoyancy in action upon steel protective decks, and upon the sub- 

D 2 



division of their hulls into very numerous water-tight compartments. 
By 1897, however, certain foreign powers had embarked so decisively 
upon a policy of building fast armoured cruisers that the Admiralty 
could no longer hold back. Accordingly, in the Supplementary 
Estimates for 1897-98, and in the regular Estimates for 1898-99, 
1899-1900, and 1900-1901 respectively, provision was made for the 
construction of twenty vessels of this class, as follows : 


.No. of Guns. 

Date of 

ment in 





i i^ 

D3 gj<9 



*. . . . 






Ton. ]n. 
26 9'2 

2 12 



Kent"-. . . . 





5-0 = 

7* 6 



Good Hope * . 

bldg. 1900 





26 9-2 

2 16 



1 To this class belong also (Supplementary Estimates, 1895-98) the Cressy (1S99), AlouJeir and HogKe (1900) 
and (Estimates, 1898-99) Bacchante and Euryalus (building 1900) : six ships in all. 

2 To Ibis class belong also (Supplementary Estimates, 1898) the Essex (building 1900), (Estimates, 1899- 
1900), the Monmoulh and Bedford (building 1900) i and (Estimates, 1900-1901) the Cornwall, Suffolk, Berwick, 
Cumberland, Donegal, and Lancaster : ten ships in all. 

3 To this class belong nlso (Supplementary Estimate, 1 898) the Leviathan (building 1900), and (Estimates^ 
1898-99) the Drake and King Alfred (fX Africa), (building 1900) : four ships in all. 

* Krupp steel and nickel steel. s Krupp steel and Harveyed nickel sleel. u Krnpp steel. 

The 9'2-inch guns of the above were of the Vickers pattern on 
special mountings on the central-pivot system, with endless dredger 
hoists worked by electric motors. The training was done alter- 
natively by hand or by electricity. Some ships of the Kent type 
had four of their 6-inch guns in pairs in turrets fore and aft, so- 
arranged that each ~ gun of a pair could be used independently, or 
that both could be trained together and fired as one piece. Later 
ships of the Kent type were to carry one 7'5-inch gun instead of each 
of these two pairs. 

The Sutlej type, 440 feet long, had 230 feet of that length belted 
with 6-inch armour, and the forward end, to the ram, covered with 
2-inch plates. The Kent (or " County ") type, also 440 feet long, but 
of less beam, had a 4-inch midship belt, and 2-inch plating at the 
bow. The Good Hope type had a 6-inch midship belt, and 2-inch 
plating at the bow, and was 500 feet long between perpendiculars. 
Further particulars may be gathered from the accompanying plans. 

It would be quite hopeless to attempt to analyse the very 
numerous designs of unarmoured cruisers which found favour at 
various times between the beginning of 1857 and the end of 1900. 



All that can be done here is to give a few particulars of some of the 
more noteworthy types. These will be found over-leaf. 

The gunboats built previous to 1890 had wood, composite, or 
iron hulls. Of sea-going gunboats, the Bramble type (1886-87 ; 
composite ; 715 tons ; 13 knots ; 1 screw ; 6 4-inch B.) ; the Pheasant 
type (1888 ; composite ; 755 tons ; 13 2 knots ; 1 screw ; 6 4-inch 
B.) ; and the Lapwing type (1889 ; composite ; 805 tons ; 13 knots ; 

1 screw; 6 4-inch B.), may be cited as specimens which showed a 
distinct advance upon the types of the period of the Crimean War. 
In 1897-98, the Dwarf class (steel, sheathed ; 710 tons ; 13 '5 knots ; 

2 screws ; 2 4-inch Q.) was built. Of iron coast-defence gunboats, 


A rmour, II. N.S. 

A. 9-2 in. B. 

B. <n. Q. 

C. IZpr. Q. 

S. Search-light. 

AND "BACCHANTE," 1899-1901. 

(From ' The Naval Pocket Book,' 1901.) 

each mounting from one to three comparatively heavy muzzle- 
loaders, and having twin screws but very low speed, many were 
built between 1870 and 1882. Their displacement was in the 
neighbourhood of 260 tons ; and they were chiefly designed for 
bows-on fighting. In the last decade of the century several very 
shallow draught gunboats were constructed for use in the rivers of 
Africa and China. Some of these were fitted with a single stern- 
wheel, others, with twin screws working in raised tunnels. The 
draught of a craft displacing upwards of 100 tons was kept as low as 
20 inches by the ingenuity displayed by the designers, a leader of 




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whom in this branch, as in other special branches of naval architec- 
ture, was Mr. A. F. Yarrow. 

The most important of the special branches in question was 
called into existence, about the year 1877, by the demand for small 
fast craft suitable for the most advantageous utilisation of the 
Whitehead torpedo, which, at that date, was forcing its way into 
general notice as a weapon with immense possibilities before it. 
Two or three years earlier fast craft had been constructed for using 
with a towing-torpedo, a type which speedily became obsolete. In 
1877, after the great improvements effected in the Whitehead in 
1876, Messrs. Thornycroft built the Lightning (later known as 
No. 1), and Mr. Yarrow almost simultaneously produced two some- 
what bigger and faster boats, subsequently known as Nos. 17 and 18, 
for the Admiralty. Large orders for similar vessels were quickly 
issued ; and within the following twelve months numerous torpedo- 
boats were constructed for the British Government, though certain 
foreign powers lost no time in acquiring even more ; so that for many 
years, as regards her torpedo-flotilla, Great Britain was inferior to 
some of her rivals. Particulars of a few typical British boats, 
arranged so as to direct notice to the developments in size, and 
particularly in speed, are appended. Smaller (2nd class) boats, 
intended for carrying on board ship, and capable of being hoisted in 
and out, were also built, and were eventually supplied to all battle- 
ships and large cruisers. 

1st Class Torpedo- Date of 
Boats. Launch. 

Length. Beam. 

Draoght. D ^ n a t M - H.P.I. 



Ft. In. 

Ft. In. 

Ft. In. Tons. Knots. 

No. 1 . . . 1877 

84 6 

10 9 






Nos. 17, 18 . 1877 



4 6 





Nos. 21, 22 . 1885 


12 6 

5 8 





No. 79 .. 1886 



5 6 





No. 80 . . 1887 








No. 93 . . i 1893 


15 6 

5 5 





Nos. 98-101 . { fgg } 



8 5 150 


25-0 20 

i Twin-screws. The others had but one screw. 

NOTK. The number of torpedo-ejecting tubes carried by the above varied from one to five. The later boats 
carried a few 3-pr. quickfiring guns. 

By the end of 1895, Great Britain possessed no fewer than 82 
craft of the above and similar types, exclusive of boats less than 100 
feet long. On the other hand, France had 195 ; Germany had 158 ; 
Italy had 121 ; Japan had 124 ; and Russia had 94 of corresponding 
classes. About three years before that date Britain's striking weak- 


ness in this respect had, however, been somewhat tardily recognised 
by the Admiralty ; and measures had been adopted with a view to 
providing compensation. These measures involved the creation of 
yet another class of special vessels. 

Ever since the introduction of the torpedo-boat, the experts had 
sought for a craft wherewith to meet and checkmate it. In 1885 
they had evolved the torpedo gunboat, familiarly known in the Navy 
as the torpedo-boat catcher, the first of the type being the Battle- 
snake, the precursor of the vessels of the Sharpshooter, Alarm, and 
Dryad classes in the list of Typical Cruising Ships on p. 38. But 
the " catchers," small cruisers in effect, had proved too big, too 
visible, and, above all, too slow for their intended mission, which 
was to overhaul the torpedo-boat, and sink her by gun-fire, or by 
running her down. In the annual naval manoeuvres of 1888-93 they 
failed over and over again to protect the fleets to which they were 
attached. It became evident that something else must be devised ; 
and accordingly, in 1893, the first of the torpedo-boat destroyers 
were ordered. 

The "catcher" had been too large on the one hand, and not 
large enough on the other, to attain and maintain really high speed. 
Moreover, she had been an expensive craft, and, while useless as a 
snapper up of torpedo-boats, had been equally useless as a torpedo- 
vessel, owing to her visibility and lack of speed. It was determined 
that the new craft should be a " catcher " and a torpedo-boat in one, 
a vessel able to overhaul and reduce a hostile torpedo-boat by means 
of gun-fire or running down, and also able to act as a first-class 
torpedo-boat of the most effective sort. Mr. Yarrow's pioneer 
destroyer, the Havock, launched in the autumn of 1893 in response 
to the requirements of the Admiralty, was from the beginning so 
obvious a success that other craft of the kind were promptly ordered 
from various firms ; and a considerable flotilla of these boats was 
created by Great Britain almost before any other power secured so 
much as a single specimen. In the table on p. 41 will be found an 
epitome of the rapid development of the torpedo-boat destroyer in 
the few years which elapsed between its original evolution and the 
end of the nineteenth century. 

A few miscellaneous craft of special nature remain for notice. 
In 1878 the importunate advocacy of the ram by Admiral of the 
Fleet Sir George Rose Sartorius, then eighty-eight years of age, 
induced the Admiralty to lay down the Polyphemus, a steel twin- 

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screw vessel designed solely for ramming and for discharging 
torpedoes. She was of 2640 tons' displacement, and had a speed of 
17 '8 knots. Owing to alterations made in her plans while she was 
building, she was not launched until 1881, and was not ready for 
sea until several years later. A most expensive craft, and of doubtful 
value, she remained the sole representative of her class. 

Destroyer's Name. 

Date of 
















18 -n 






Lynx .... 


















Foam .... 









Wolf .... 


















Viper .... 









NOTE. .Of the above, the Havock was huilt by Yarrow; the Lynx and Wolf were built by Lairds; the 
Handy and Express were built by the Fairfield Co. ; the foam was built by Thornycroft ; and the Viper was 
built by Hawthorn, I.cslit and Co. The Savock and Viper had Yarrow; the Lynx, Wolf and Express bail 
Normand ; and ihe Handy and Foam had Thornycroft water-tube boilers. All were built of steel ; all had twiu- 
screws, except the Viper, which was driven by Parson's steam turbines (four shafts with two propellers on each) ; 
the usual gun armament was 1 12-pr., and 5 6-pr. quickfirers; and most of the boats carried two training 
ejection tubes for 18-in. Whitehead torpedoes. 

The addition to the Navy of large numbers of torpedo-boats 
rendered it desirable that a large vessel should be provided to act as a 
kind of nursing-mother, storeship, and repairing shop for such craft 
while at sea. In 1878, the iron steamship Hecla, of 6400 tons' dis- 
placement, was purchased by the Admiralty for this purpose, and 
adapted as a torpedo dep6t ship ; and in 1889 a second sea-going 
depot ship, the Vulcan, a fast steel twin-screw vessel, of 6620 tons' 
displacement, was added to the service. The latter was built 
expressly for the objects in view, and was also a mining and electric 
cable depot, a floating workshop, forge, and foundry, and a repository 
for six second-class torpedo-boats, which she carried on her deck, 
and could hoist in and out by means of specially fitted hydraulic 
cranes. In addition, she was an efficient, though lightly armed, 
cruiser, with protective deck. Despatch vessels, tugs, storeships, 
troopships, yachts, surveying vessels, and harbour craft served 
throughout the period as complements of the fighting navy, but were 
far too numerous for mention here.- 

A word may- be added as to the royal yachts. In 1857 the 
principal yacht was the second Victoria and Albert (ex Windsor 
Castle), particulars of which have been given in Vol. VI, p. 199. A 
most useful and comfortable craft, she retained her position until the 


end of 1900, although a third Victoria and Albert, a twin-screw 
steel ship of 4700 tons' displacement and 17 knots' speed, had been 
laid down in 1897 and launched in 1899. This fine vessel was 
nearing completion at the end of the century. At that date, the 
other royal yachts were the wooden paddle vessels Osborne, of 1850 
tons' displacement and 14 knots' speed, built in 1870; Alberta, of 
370 tons' displacement and 13 knots' speed, built in 1863 ; and the 
little tender Elfin, of 93 tons' displacement and 11 knots' speed, 
dating from as far back as 1849. 

During the Russian scare of 1885, numerous fast and large 
merchant vessels were taken over and employed temporarily as naval 
cruisers, 1 one, the Oregon, being actually commissioned by officers 
and men of the Navy. Many years earlier, viz., in December, 1876, 
the Admiralty had opened a register for ships complying with certain 
stipulated conditions, and therefore suitable for employment in time 
of war. In 1885 the number of vessels on this list was 155, of 12 
knots' speed and upwards. In the estimates for 1887-88, provision 
was made for the payment of small subsidies, by way of retaining 
fees, to the owners of a few of the most serviceable of these craft ; 
and at the same time it was arranged that the subsidised owners 
should hold other ships at the disposal of the Admiralty without 
further retaining fee. At the end of 1900 the number of large fast 
vessels thus secured as " Royal Naval Reserved Merchant Cruisers," 
or as additional cruisers for instant use in case of need, was fifty, the 
contributing companies being the Cunard, the Peninsular and 
Oriental, the White Star, the Canadian Pacific, the Orient, the 
Royal Mail, and the Pacific. For each of the subventioned vessels 
a suitable light armament was stored at the British port to which 
she belonged. 

The end of the Crimean War marks the end also of what may be 
called the stagnation period in the history of naval gunnery. In the 
previous half century the use of shells had become more general than 
before, and the shell itself had been improved, though it was still 
employed chiefly in mortars ; and attention had begun to be directed 
to the problem of the diminution of windage, with a view to 
obtaining greater accuracy and velocity by utilising as much as 
possible of the elastic force of the explosion, and allowing as little of 
it as possible to pass the projectile and escape without doing its due 
share of the work. In certain small arms the problem had been 
! Admiralty Return of Aug. 5, 1885. 






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dealt with long before by the adoption of the device of rifling the 
interior of the barrel, and giving to the grooves of the rifling a slight 
but constant or even an increasing twist, which was found to increase 
accuracy by imparting a corresponding axial twist to the bullet in 
its flight. In the old muzzle-loading days, the bullet of a rifle was 
hammered, or violently forced down upon the powder; but very 
little experiment showed that it would be vain to attempt to do with 
an iron projectile, weighing perhaps 681bs., what could be done 
easily with a leaden bullet weighing a few grains. Whitworth and 
others, therefore, devised an elongated bolt or projectile which, 
instead of being forced into the bore of a heavy gun by the exertion 
of main strength, was of size and shape to permit of its being pushed 
home with comparatively little exertion, but which, nevertheless, 
acquired a twisting motion in its outward flight by reason of some 
peculiar correspondence between a cross section of the projectile and 
a cross section of the bore of the gun, the bore itself being twisted. 
Whitworth's section was hexagonal ; the section chosen by Lancaster 
was slightly oval. Yet still, as the projectile would not fit with 
more than approximate accuracy, there was much windage ; and at 
length it became obvious that if windage was to be reduced to the 
lowest practicable point, the gun must be loaded not at the muzzle 
but at the breech. 1 

In 1858 the first great step was taken. In that year the Com- 
mittee on Kifled Cannon recommended the introduction of the rifled 
breechloading Armstrong gun into the naval service. In the earliest 
days of the new guns there was no improved velocity, 2 but there 
was immensely improved accuracy. Comparing, for example, the 
velocities and energies of the 32-pr. smooth bore and of the 40-pr. 
3.B.L. gun which took its place, Sir Andrew Noble puts the 
muzzle velocity 3 of the old weapon at 1600, and that of the newer 
at only 1200 foot-seconds, and the muzzle energy * at 570 and 400 
foot-tons respectively ; but he adds that, using the method of least 
squares to determine the relative accuracy of the rifled and of the 
smooth bore gun of approximately the same weight, he found that, 

1 Author, in ' Social England,' vi., 496. 

2 For a discussion of this question, see Noble, 'Rise and Progress of Rifled Naval 
Artillery ' ; Inst. of Nav. Arch., July, 1899. 

3 Muzzle velocity means the rate in feet per second at which the projectile moves 
on quitting the gun's muzzle. 

4 Muzzle energy means the power developed at the gun's muzzle, as measured by 
the weight in tons which that power would raise to the height of one foot. 



at a range of 1000 yards, half the shot from a rifled gun fell in a 
rectangle about 23 yards long by 1 yard wide, while, in the case of 
the smooth bore, the corresponding rectangle was about 145 yards 
long by 10 yards wide. The velocity was afterwards improved, first 
by using various obturators and " driving bands," the effect of which 
was to enable the pressure of the gases of explosion to squeeze the 
basic, or part of the cylindral, periphery of the projectile into the 
grooves of the rifling, and so prevent those gases from escaping 
before the expulsion of the projectile ; later by the gradual adoption 
of more suitable powders, which, being of slower combustion, set up 
growing rather than sudden pressures, and so reduced the violence 
of the strains ; and, last of all, by the adoption of much longer guns, 
so as to allow of the slower burning powders perfecting their com- 
bustion while the projectile was still within the muzzle and fully 
subject to the pressure. 

But these were the improvements of years. Armstrong's first 
breechloader was a tube, cut into near its rear end so as to admit of 
the dropping in of a breech block, which then filled the aperture and 
closed the bore. A hollow screw, working in the tube or bore from 
the rear, pressed the block home, and held it fast. The gun was 
loaded through the hollow screw, the block being displaced for the 
purpose ; and for that reason it soon became known as the Arm- 
strong screw gun. The following are particulars 1 of various types 
of this weapon which were used in the Navy from about the year 
1860 onwards : 








Powder Proiectilc Pr jeclile Muzzle Muzzle 
"ojectile. Diam. Energy. Velocity. 



Ins. Lbs. Oz. Lbs. Oz. Ins. Foot-tons. ^JJJJJJ" 

9-pr. . . . 




12 88 

3'0 66 1055 

12-pr. . . . 




1 8 

11 4 

3-0 118 


20-pr., L.S. . . 




2 8 

21 13 

3-75 193 


40-pr., patt. G. . 35 




40 2 

4-75 388 


7-in., heavy . 






7-0 915 


All these guns were rifled on the polygroove system, with a uniform twist which 
varied from one turn in 38 calibres in the 9-pr., 12-pr. and 20-pr., to one in 37 in the 
7-in., and one in 36' 5 in the 40-pr. The powders used were R.L.G. (rifled large- 
grain black) or P. (prism black). The 20-pr. L.S. (land-service) was used in two 
rather lighter forms for ship and boat service. 

1 ' Text Book of Gunnery,' 1887 ; Cat. of Mus. of Artillery, Woolwich. 


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This system, though embodying great improvements, proved 
unsatisfactory, owing, among other reasons, to the tendency of the 
breech-block to jump out of its place upon the firing of the gun, and 
to the general weakness of the breech. 1 With its introduction came 
the general adoption of iron or steel carriages for naval guns. The 
new carriages survived the new breech-loaders, which, after they 
had undergone but little trial in action, and before the system could 
be applied to weapons of larger calibre than 7 in., were abandoned, 
mainly on account of their danger. The 7-in. guns, and most of 
the 40-prs. were quickly got rid of ; but some of the lighter guns 
remained in certain ships for twenty years or longer. 

It is a strange thing that, although at the time when the R.B.L. 
gun was thus discredited the necessity for a breech-loader of some 
sort was generally recognised by experts, the British Navy reverted 
to the muzzle-loading system. It was about the year 1865 when 
the Admiralty realised that it must seek perfection in a new path. 
Abroad, several excellent breech-loading systems were coming into 
prominence ; yet Great Britain went back deliberately to the muzzle- 
loader, and, having taken it up again, clung to it devotedly for almost 
twenty years, in spite of the fact that, in the interim, nearly every 
other naval power had armed itself with breech-loaders. 

The new British muzzle-loader, however, of 7-in. calibre and 
upwards, was not like the old gun of Crimean war days. In one 
respect, indeed, it resembled the E.B.L., in that it was a built-up 
gun, made on the Armstrong, the Fraser, or the modified Eraser 
system ; but it was a far larger weapon than had been employed ever 
before. In each case wrought-iron coils were shrunk over a steel 
tube with a solid end which was supported in the rear by a cascable 
screwed up against it through the breech. The constructions varied 
chiefly in the number, arrangement, and cost of the portions shrunk 
round the inner tube, in the diameter of the cascable, and in the 
thickness of the inner tube in which were cut the grooves of the 
rifling. All except the 16-in. 80 ton gun, were rifled on the Wool- 
wich system of wide grooves having rounded sides ; and the grooves 
were fitted, more or less loosely, by projecting gun-metal studs on 
the circumference of the projectiles, there being, of course, as many 
rows of studs as there were grooves. The principal heavy naval 
guns of this nature (M.L.) were : 

1 These were not the only defects. On one occasion, in the Thistle, iu China, a 
20-pr. Armstrong breech-loader blew off the whole of the chase when firing empty 
common shell at target practice. 


M.L. Onus. 



1 1-1 T C I|H l.'lil . 

Nature and " Murk." Weight. 









7-in. M.IV. . . 7 
8-in. M.II1. . | 9 

I us. 








In?, of wrought 
iron at muzzle. 


9-in. M.V. . . 12 
10-iu. M.II. . . 18 

11-in. M.II. . . 25 
12-in. M.II. . . 25 

12-in. M.II. . . 35 
12-5-in. M.H. . 3S 
16-in. M.I. . . ; 80 

The 7-in. gun had a rifling of uniform twist of 1 in 35 calibres. The others had 
an accelerating twist varying, in the case of the 10-in. gun, from 1 in 100 to 1 in 
40 calibres. The powders giving the above velocities were, for the guns of 12-in. and 
less, Pebble; for the 12'5-in., Prism black; and for the 16-in., Prism brown. The 
16-in. gun was rifled on the polygroove plain section system. For further particulars 
of these guns, see Owen, ' Modern Artillery,' 1873 ; ' Text Book of Gunnery, 1887,' etc. 

The M.L. gun held its place in the Navy from the middle 
sixties until about 1881, and, during that period, was supreme. 
But, as early as 1877, discoveries which had the effect of increasing 
the initial velocities of rifled projectiles from about 1600 to 2100 
foot-seconds, and the energies by nearly 75 per cent., had rendered 
inevitable another reconstruction of guns and their mountings. The 
Thunderer gun accident in January, 1879, tended, also, to shake 
faith in the muzzle-loader. At the same time, as Sir Andrew Noble 
points out, from the increase in the length of guns demanded by 
the slow-burning powders and high energies then introduced, it 
became necessary to return to the breech-loader. But apart from 
the mechanical and dynamic considerations which prompted the 
step, there were, so it appears to me, far more important tactical 
reasons ; one being the impossibility of serving a broadside muzzle- 
loader in a ship in a hot action without exposing the crew unduly 
to the small projectiles of the enemy ; and another being the fact, 
well ascertained even when Great Britain foolishly reverted to 
muzzle-loaders, that, weight for weight, a breech-loader is a much 
more rapid-firing weapon than a muzzle-loader, no matter how good 
or how smartly worked. 

In the early eighties the new breech-loaders began to be mounted 
in new battle-ships and cruisers ; but only very slowly did they dis- 
place the old weapons. In 1885 I went to sea with the Particular 
Service Squadron, under Sir Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby. 




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There was at that time some fear of trouble with Eussia, and the 
squadron, one of the best that could then be sent to sea by Great 
Britain, sailed not knowing whether it might not be in action ere it 
sighted England again. None of the battleships in it, however and 
there were thirteen carried so much as a single breech-loader of 
more than 6-in. calibre ; while every one of the big ships in the navy 
of Eussia was armed entirely with breech-loaders. In 1894 I was 
again afloat with the fleets which manoeuvred that summer under 
Yice-Admiral Eobert O'Brien FitzEoy, and Eear-Admiral Edward 
Hobart Seymour. Of twelve battleships then engaged, two still had 
muzzle-loaders as part of their armament ; and on the last day of 
the century, fully eighteen or twenty years after muzzle-loaders had 
been finally condemned even by Great Britain, there remained on 
the active list of the Navy several large vessels armed in the old 
discredited way. Progress, therefore, was terribly slow ; and it 
should ever be a subject of congratulation that, during the many 
years when the transition was in process of accomplishment, the 
British Navy never had to measure itself with one of the great 
navies, which, ere Britain had begun to move in the matter, had 
completed their rearmament. 

The Woolwich-Armstrong breech-loading guns thus tardily intro- 
duced were of the following chief types : 

B. L 





Nature and " Hark." 








Tons. Calibres, l-eet, Lbs. 



*<"** ironatmSi:' 


3-in . 

35; 28 








13 cwt. 

65 14-81 






M.VI. . 











M.V. . 











M.VI. . 












M.III. . 












M.VI. . 












. M.VII. 




9 166 







M.I I. . 




5 252 






M.V. . 


25-25 25 







13- 5-in. 67-ton 

67 30 36 

. -i 






16-25-in. 111-| 
ton . . / 

110-5 30 43 








* Armour-piercing shell. With common shell less powder was used. 

The larger guns, including the 8-in., were built to burn Prism brown powder ; the 
others, Pebble, or Rifle large grain The number of grooves in the rifling varied. In 
the 8-in. M.VI., it was 32 ; in the 6-in. M.VI., 24. The rifling system, except in the 
16'25-in., was polygroove, with hook section. In every case there was au increasing 
twist. See also ' Text Book of Gunnery.' 


The next improvements in heavy guns were indirectly the out- 
come of the practical supersession of gunpowder by cordite, ballistite, 
and similar propellents. These give much greater energy, with 
no greater chamber pressure, and, producing no smoke, possess 
manifest advantages ; although probably they may yet be vastly 

The new developments were in two directions, namely, in the 
direction of increased power without relative increase of weight of 
gun, and in the direction of accelerated rate of fire. An example of 
development in the first of these directions was the 12-in. 46-ton 
wire gun, which formed the chief armament of the battleships laid 
down in 1894-97. This gun, with a length of 37 '1 feet, or 35 '43 
calibres, was built to throw an armour-piercing shell of 850 Ibs., 
and, with a full charge of 167 '5 Ibs. of cordite, gave a muzzle 
velocity of 2400 foot-seconds, and a muzzle energy of 33,940 foot- 
tons. It had a muzzle penetration of 36 '8 inches of wrought iron ; 
and, though it weighed but 46 tons, was practically as powerful a 
weapon as the 13'5-in. 67-ton gun which it took the place of. A 
somewhat heavier and more powerful 12-in. wire gun was introduced 
for the battleships laid down in and after 1898. It weighed about 
50 tons. The developments in the direction of accelerated rate of 
fire must be dealt with at somewhat greater length. 

Towards the end of the year 1881, the British government invited 
designs for a gun which should fulfil the following among other 
requirements. The weight of the gun and its mounting should not 
exceed half a ton ; the projectile should weigh six pounds, and 
should have a muzzle velocity of not less than 1800 foot-seconds ; 
the projectile and powder charge should be made up in one cartridge ; 
the gun should need a crew of not more than three men ; and the 
weapon should be capable of discharging at least twelve aimed shots 
per minute. In reply to this invitation, and to a somewhat similar 
one for a three-pounder from the French government, the Hotchkiss 
and the Nordenfelt companies, as well as other firms, drew up plans 
and specifications for what afterwards became known as quick-firing 
or rapid-firing guns. Weapons of this description were presently 
adopted as part of the armament of every warship. As soon as it 
became clear that they were destined to be successful, the Elswick 
company constructed larger weapons, of 4'7-in. and 6-in. calibre, 
also on quick-firing principles, and submitted them to the Admiralty. 
In the case of the larger guns the projectile and the powder charge 



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were not made up into one cartridge ; but in most other respects the 
characteristics of the G-pr. Q.F. were reproduced. The new guns 
speedily gained favour, and within a very few years displaced all 
others in the secondary batteries of warships. The general effect 
of the innovation, supplemented by the adoption of greatly improved 
mountings, was to multiply sixfold a battery's rate of fire. At a 
trial in 1887 on board the Handij, at Portsmouth, a 4'7-in. gun on 
centre pivot recoil mounting, the whole weighing 4 tons 12 cwt., 
fired ten rounds in 47 '5 seconds. The gunboat Mastiff was subse- 
quently ordered to fire ten rounds as rapidly as possible from her 
service 5-in. B.L. gun. These rounds took six minutes sixteen 
seconds to discharge ; so that the new gun fired ten times while the 
old one fired twice. The new gun afterwards fired fifteen rounds in 

one minute. 1 

It would be tedious, and, in a work like the present, unnecessary, 
to describe in detail the various types or " Marks " of British quick- 
firing guns, and of the mountings which have been devised for them. 
It will suffice to give the appended general particulars of some 
leading varieties of these guns 2 : 




over all. 

of Bore. 


of Pro- 



in Ins. of 
iron at 



In. Tons. 

Feet Calibres. 

Lns. Lbs. 













6-in. wire \ 

(Tickers) ( ' 









4'7-in. . . 








1494 ! 11-9 

4-in. . 

4 1-05 








3-in. 12-pr. . 







2200 423 


3-in. Field) 







1584 218 


12-pr. f ' 

Hotchkiss 6-pr 







1820 138 









1820 138 


Hotchkiss 3-pr 

1-85 '25 




3-3 1875 80 



1-85 -2 




1875 80 


The weights of the charges above are for cordite. 
There are different " Marks " of most of the above guns. 
A 1 5 In. gun was also introduced. 

1 Author in U. S. Magazine, Feb., 1891 ; Noble, ' Rifled Nav. Art.,' 1899 ; 
Nav. Art.,' 1891. 

2 ' Naval Pocket Book,' 1899. 


' Mod. 



In the meantime there were equally important improvements in 
the small-arms which were used in the Navy. At the close of the 
Crimean War, the service rifles were on the Delvigne-Minie principle, 
and of the 1851 pattern. These had a calibre of 0'702 in., and 
were muzzle-loaders. In 1856 and 1858, new patterns were adopted 
for different branches of the Navy ; and the calibre was reduced to 
0-577 in. Then, about the year 1861, came the Enfield small-bore 
rifle of the experimental pattern, with a calibre of 0' 453 in. ; but 
still the muzzle-loader only was employed. The first breech-loader 
used in the Navy was the Snider ; and in 1864 a number of muzzle- 
loaders were converted on Snider's principle from 0'577-in. muzzle- 
loaders, the calibre remaining as before. A new Snider naval rifle 
of 0-577 in. calibre was also issued. Many years afterwards followed 
the Martini-Henry rifle, with a calibre of 0'45 in., to be superseded in 
the last decade of the century by the Lee-Metford, and the closely 
related Lee-Enfield, of only 0'303 in. calibre. These last were 
adopted nearly simultaneously with the general substitution of 
cordite for black powder in all arms, small as well as large. The 
following are some particulars of the Martini-Henry and the Lee- 
Metford : 



Length of Weight with. B ,, . 
Arm. Bayonet. 





Lbs. On. 




Martini-Henry, M.IV. . 



10 9 



1800 (?) 

Lee-Metford, M.II. . . 



10 4 


30 2 


i Black powder. * Cordite. 

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 brought the mitrailleuse 
into celebrity. The weapon seems to have accomplished little in 
that campaign ; but its use directed attention to the far more 
serviceable Gatling gun, another variety of small-arm battery, or 
" machine-gun," the object of which was to pour out a rapid and 
continuous hail of comparatively small bullets. Gatling guns had 
been shown at the Paris exhibition of 1867 by their inventor, 
R. J. Gatling of Indianapolis, and had attracted much notice. The} 7 
were of 1 in. and 0'58 in. calibre, with six barrels revolving round a 
central axis. By turning a crank, cartridges, supplied by feed boxes, 
could be discharged at a great rate. Yet other types of machine- 
guns, and especially the Nordenfelt, the Gardner, and subsequently 
the Maxim single-barrelled automatic, won their way to favour, all 





w ^ 

a ~ 

y, -a 
o a cs 

5 M It 


5 i 

% 2 

td -(J ^ 

o 3 "* 


<3 S 

?! S 



being used in the Navy during the last years of the nineteenth 
century, although the Maxim was then rapidly displacing the others. 
The leading particulars * of them are set forth below : 






Rate of fire 
per Min. 

Nature and Calibre. 


Ft. In. 


1-in. 4 barrelled . 


4 9 

7J oz. 

625 grs. 


]-in. 2 barrelled . 


4 7| 

7i oz. 

625 grs. 


'45-in. 5 barrelled . 


3 61 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 



45-in. 1 barrelled . 


3 11 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 


45-in. 2 barrelled . 


3 11 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 


45-in. 5 barrelled . 


4 5fc 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 



65-in. 10 barrelled 


5 6i 

1422 SJK. 

270 grs. 

45-in. 10 barrelled 


4 11J 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 


Maxim Automatic, 



4 5 

7000 grs. 

1233 grs. 




3 7J 

480 grs. 

85 grs. 600 


216 grs. 

30 grs. 1 600 

1 Cordite, taking Lee-Metford auimmiition. 

In spite of the introduction of the torpedo, and of the fact that 
all large ships of war built towards the end of the nineteenth century 
were designed to serve as rams, the gun maintained its ancient 
position as the first and principal weapon of the Navy. While, 
however, the unshaken position of the gun was frankly recognised 
by all the most respectable authorities on naval tactics, the import- 
ance of good gunnery was, in practice, still strangely and culpably 
neglected throughout the British fleet : so much so, indeed, that, 
according to the prize-firing returns for 1900, the mean percentage 
of hits scored by all the ships in commission in that and the previous 
year was no more than the following : 

Percentage of Hits. 


Increase or 



B.L. 16-25-in.,andl3'5-in 



- 5-13 

12-in. wire B.L 

33-68 35-07 

+ 1-39 

10-in. wire B.L. ...... 



+ 12-91 

9-2-in. and8-in. B.L 



- 6-35 

6-in. quick-firers. ..... 



+ 8-66 

4'7-in. quick-firers ..... 



- 3-55 

For further details, see Clowes, ' Nav. Pocket Book,' 1900. 

E 2 


Looking to the easy conditions under which prize-firing was carried 
out, and bearing in mind that the speed of the firing ship was always 
relatively low, that the range was never great, and that the target, 
instead of being an enemy's vessel, which could retaliate and confuse 
the gunners, was only a floating screen of spars and canvas, these 
results were certainly indifferent. But in the year 1900, one ship, 
the first-class cruiser Terrible, Captain Percy Scott, 1 distinguished 
herself by making no less a percentage than 76 '92 of hits, and 
so showed how very far short of attainable efficiency was the 
gunnery of other vessels. Her efficiency was due not only to the 
ingenious devices which were invented or employed 2 by Captain 
Scott, but also to the personal attention which he and his officers 
devoted to the training of their men. The consequences were that 
almost immediately the Admiralty turned its attention to Captain 
Scott's inventions, with a view to their general adoption, and that 
the Terrible's brilliant example engendered a healthy emulation 
which promised to- lead to a very notable heightening of the 
standard of gunnery in every ship in commission. 

The subject of engines and boilers is one into which it is not 
possible here to enter very deeply. Those specially interested in it 
will find it dealt with in a manner worthy of its importance in 
various technical works, to some of which the note 3 below will 
refer them. 

Suffice it to say, as regards engines, that, at the beginning of the 
period under review, nearly all British men-of-war were fitted either 
with trunk or with return connecting-rod engines ; that, in the 
early " sixties," compound engines were experimented with, notably 
in the case of the Constance (built in 1846, and converted to a screw- 
ship in 1862), but were not then sufficiently understood to be worked 
successfully ; and that the earliest efficient application of compound 
engines to a British war-ship was made in the case of the small 

1 For some account of Capt. Scott's improvements in mountings for heavy guns for 
service on shore, see next chapter. 

" Including the Barr and Stroud Range-finder. 

3 Sennett, "The Marine Steam Engine" (1888); Seaton, "A Manual of Marine 
Engineering '' (1893) ; Yeo, " Steam, and the Marine Steam Engine " (1894) ; Williams, 
" The Steam Navy of England " (1895) ; S. W. Barnaby, " Marine Propellers " (1885) ; 
Bertin, "Machines Marines" (1899); Busley (tr. by Cole), "The Marine Steam 
Engine"; Oldknow, "The Mechanism of Men of War" (1896); "Notes on Steam 
Engineering" (Annapolis, 1901); Tompkins, "Text Book of Marine Engineering"; 
Bourne, "Catechism of the Steam Engine"; Murray, "Marine Engines and Steam 
Vessels" (1886), etc. ; and works on Boilers, for which see note on p. 55. 



K I I 

O -S 5 


I k 
? * * 






wooden ironclad Pallas, of 1865. These were two-cylinder engines, 
by Messrs. Humphrys, with surface condensers. Not, however, 
until several years later were compound engines generally adopted 
by the Navy, for the next ironclad to be provided with them was 
the Alexandra, of 1875. At first such engines were horizontal, in 
order that the cylinders and machinery might be kept low in the 
hold, and enjoy the protection of the water ; but it was all along 
recognised that the vertical was the proper position, and in the 
Dreadnought and the Shannon, both launched, like the Alexandra, 
in 1875, vertical engines were employed. To Captain Eobert 
Anthony Edward Scott, 1 better known for his inventions in 
connection with gun-mountings, belongs, I believe, the credit of 
suggesting the use of a curved steel deck and armoured coamings 
over a ship's engine-room as protection for the upper parts of 
vertical engines, and of thus enabling such engines to be fitted in 
cruisers as well as in vertically-armoured vessels. Triple-expansion 
engines were first given in the Navy to the torpedo gun-vessel 
Battlesnake, of 1886, and then to the battleships Victoria, Sans 
"Par ell, and Nile (1887-88). Soon afterwards they became the 
ordinary service engines throughout the British Navy, subject, how- 
ever, to various modifications. To the Blake and Blenheim, first- 
class cruisers of 1889-90, four sets of triple expansion inverted 
cylinder engines were given. Two sets remained, however, the 
more usual number until the close of the century. 

Twin screws were fitted in numerous small craft in the later 
" sixties " ; and in 1868 they were also given to the ironclad 
Penelope, the first of her class to have them. Not, however, until 
about ten years afterwards did the Admiralty make up its mind that 
they were necessary to all large men-of-war. It may be noted that 
the earlier twin screws rotated outwards, and the later ones inwards. 
The earlier single screws, as applied to large vessels with full 
sail-power, were so fitted that they could be disconnected from the 
machinery, and either left to revolve with but little friction while 
the vessel was under canvas, or, in other cases, raised entirely out 
of the water, a well, generally from the upper deck, being made 
above them for that purpose. Yet other screws fitted to sailing 
vessels had feathering blades, which, when the screw shaft was not 
rotating, could be unlocked, and left to trail in such a manner as to 
offer a minimum of resistance to the water. 

1 Captain of Nov. 22, 1866 ; retd. Oct. 20, 1870 ; retd. r.-adm. Mar. 27, 1885. 


Besides their main engines, all the large ships of the close of 
the century had numerous others, often in duplicate, for various 
purposes. Thus, for example, the Vulcan had 98 separate engines, 
with, in all, 194 cylinders ; the Powerful and Terrible had each 85 
auxiliary engines ; and the battleships of the Eoijal Sovereign class 
(1891-92) had each 86. 

During the whole period the machine-driven screw-propeller, 
single or twin, advanced in favour; and, ere the beginning of the 
last quarter of the century, it had entirely ousted the paddle-wheel 
as a warship motor, although the paddle-wheel was still retained in 
certain tugs, surveying-vessels and harbour-craft which were not 
intended for fighting purposes or general service. More than once, 
however, experimental craft with other forms of motor were tried 
by the Admiralty. The armoured gun-vessel Waterwitch, of 1866, 
designed by Bear-Admiral George Elliot (4) and the Controller's 
Department, was driven hydraulically, but was a complete failure. 
The. second-class 66-ton torpedo-boat, No. 98, built by Messrs. 
Thornycroft in 1883, was also driven hydraulically, and proved a 
disappointment to her projectors. Some years later, however, the 
success of a vessel called the Turbinia, the motor of which was the 
invention of the Hon. C. A. Parsons, drew the attention of the 
Admiralty to the merits of the compound steam turbine as a 
substitute, in certain kinds of craft, for the ordinarily driven screw. 
The 'Turbinia created an immense impression on the occasion of 
the Diamond Jubilee Eeview of 1897, when she appeared among 
the British and foreign men-of-war assembled at Spithead, and 
astonished all observers by her speed. The result was the fitting 
of somewhat similar turbines to the torpedo-boat destroyer Viper 
which was built in 1899, and which attained the extraordinary 
speed of 36-58 knots, or upwards of 42 statute miles, an hour 
at her trials on July 13th, 1900. She had 4 shafts with 2 
propellers on each, and Yarrow water-tube boilers ; and on the 
occasion in question, with 200 Ibs. of steam pressure, her propellers 
made 1180 revolutions a minute. Another destroyer of much the 
same type, the Cobra, built in 1900 at Elswick, for sale, if successful 
to the Admiralty, did almost equally well at her first trials in June 
that year; and, although the new system of propulsion was not 
without Borne defects and drawbacks, it then became evident that 
had established itself firmly as a means whereby speeds not other- 
wise attainable might be secured for craft of certain classes 


Triple screws, though fitted in the warships of more than one 
foreign power, and in several of the larger and faster of foreign 
merchant steamers, failed to recommend themselves to British 
naval constructors. 

The marine boilers l of the period were first of the square box 
type, and, later, of short cylindrical or ellipsoidal shape, having, as a 
rule, furnaces below and in front, and fire-tubes above and behind. 
In all these boilers the tubes conducted the heat through the water. 
Other boilers of the same class had furnaces at both ends. To pro- 
duce more rapid combustion in the furnaces, and quicker evolution 
of steam in the boilers, what was known as " forced draught " was 
at length employed. The stoke-holds were closed, and by means of 
fans, air was pumped into the stoke-hold ends of the furnaces, the 
air-pressure in the stoke-holds being thus increased, and additional 
oxygen, in proportion, being fed to the fires. The use of forced 
draught, however, was found to be very trying to the tubes, and 
especially to the tube-plates at their ends ; and it was to protect 
the tube-plates and the ends of the fire-tubes that a strengthening 
device, commonly called " the Admiralty ferrule," was adopted. 
This enabled forced draught to be used with less damage to the 
boilers. Another method of feeding additional oxygen to the fires 
was by Mr. W. A. Martin's system of " induced draught." In this 
system, the air was drawn through the furnaces and tubes by means 
of fans placed at the bottoms of the funnels. The results aimed at 
were in both cases the same. 

But, in practice, forced or induced draught was so seldom used 
in men-of-war, except at their trials ; it added so little, compara- 
tively, to their speed ; and it was, in spite of everything, so destruc- 
tive to the boilers, that the wisdom of providing apparatus for it 
was never conclusively demonstrated. It might be important, it was 
recognised, to enable a ship to add a knot or two to her speed at a 
critical moment ; but if the effort was to be accompanied by a risk 
of a subsequent total breakdown, possibly in presence of an enemy, 
it was urged, and with some justice, that the temporary extra speed 
might be too dearly purchased. 

These and other considerations led to experiments with boilers 
of new types, which promised to permit of the use of higher 

1 Traill, "Boilers, Marine and Land "(1890); E. Wilson, "A Treatise on Steam 
Boilers" (revised by J. J. Flather, 1893); "Interim Report of the Admiralty Boiler 
Committee " (1901) ; " The Naval Annual " ; and hooks dealing with marine engines, 
for which see note on p. 52. 


pressures, and to facilitate a more rapid raising of steam, than the 
old boilers. The new types were many, but those of them which 
obtained any degree of success had all one feature in common. 
Instead of having tubes which conducted the heat through the 
water, they had tubes which conducted the water 1 through the heat. 
Of these water-tube boilers, the chief varieties which, experimentally 
or otherwise, were fitted in ships of the British Navy were, the 
Belleville, the Yarrow, the Thornycroft, the Normand, the Eeed, 
the White, the Blechynden, the du Temple, the Babcock and 
Wilcox, the Mumford, and the Niclausse, though at least half a 
dozen other kinds were in use elsewhere. 

It was recognised from the beginning that these water-tube 
boilers were especially suitable for destroyers, and other light fast 
craft, which, in all probability, would not be required to remain 
under steam for long periods at a time, and which, therefore, would 
enjoj" frequent opportunities for overhauling, cleaning, and repairing 
their generators. When, however, upon the laying down of the 
gigantic first-class protected cruisers, Poiverful and Terrible, which 
were launched in 1895, Mr. Albert John Durston, Engineer-in-Chief 
of the Navy, determined to fit them with batteries of Belleville 
boilers, fears were very widely expressed as to the unwisdom of the 
scheme. He persisted, however, in giving Belleville boilers not only 
to these vessels, but also to other large cruisers, both protected and 
armoured, and to all the battleships which were laid down in and 
after 1897. Mr. Durston won a K.C.B. in 1897 on the strength of 
his bold departure ; but opposition to his principles continued to 
grow, and by the end of the century it had become clear that the 
Belleville was not, upon the whole, the best of the water-tube boilers 
for use in big ships, while many grounds had arisen for the con- 
viction that, although water-tube boilers possessed some striking 
advantages, they were in some respects un suited for heavy war vessels 
from which prolonged steaming and very varying speeds would, in the 
nature of things, be demanded. 2 It must be remembered, however, 
that at the end of the nineteenth century all the naval powers were 
freely fitting water-tube boilers of one type or another to their war- 
ships, both small and large. 

1 A water-tube boiler, the invention of Rear-Adm. the Hon. A. L. P. Cochrane, was 
fitted experimentally to several vessels soon after 1870, but was presently discarded. 

2 The risk of breakdown may be estimated to some extent from the fact that in 
each of the armoured cruisers of the King Alfred class there were 5348 tubes in the 
43 Belleville boilers, and 5328 tubes in the economisers. 

rm Compound Conqueror 1879. 

Arm Compound 

Hull Steel 

| firm Compound Collmgnood 1879. 


m. Compound Impcneuse 1881 

Hull Steel.. 



Victoria 1883 

Arm. Compound 

Royal Sovereign 1883. 

** -^ 

Hull Sfee/___^/ 

KrmHarveyecf Majestic 189*. 

British Ironclads. 1874. 1894. 
figures oiVo thicknea of Armour in inches 

(By kind permission, from Mr. H. W. Wilson's ' Ironclads in Action.'') 

[To face p. 56. 


The development of armour has already been touched upon 
incidentally in the sketch which has been given of the history of 
battleship building. Until about 1875 all British vertical armour 
for ships of war was of wrought iron. Compound armour, or, i 
other words, iron armour with its face steeled, was introduced for 
the turrets of the Inflexible, which was launched in 1876. 
forward compound armour was generally used for about thirtee] 
years To some of the ships of the Royal Sovereign class (1891-92) 
nickel-steel armour was applied as protection for the central battery, 
nickel-steel being steel with a small toughening admixture of nickel ; 
but the thicker belt and barbette armour continued to be compound. 
In the Benown, launched in 1895, Harvey steel was employed for 
the heavy armour. This is steel the surface of which, to a slight 
depth, has been rendered intensely hard by a process of super- 
carbonisation. The effect of the hardened surface was to distribute 
the blow of the projectile over a comparatively large extent of the 
.softer steel beneath. In the battleships which were laid down in 
the last two years of the nineteenth century, Harvey steel gave 
place to Krupp steel, a steel surface hardened and highly tempered 
by a process analogous to Harvey's, but of better quality than the 
steel or nickel-steel which had previously been treated in England. 
Speaking roughly, the relative resisting powers of the various 
armours were as follows: 1-inch Krupp steel = 1 25-inch Harveyed 
nickel-steel = 1' 5-inch Harvey steel = 2-inch compound armour = 
2-5-inch mild steel = 3.inch wrought-iron armour. Therefore the 
thickest wrought-iron armour of the Inflexible (24 inches) may be 
considered as, upon the whole, inferior to the 9-inch Krupp steel 
belt of the ships of the London class, the thickest armour of which 
(12 inches) represents something like 36 inches of wrought-iron -an 
armour which, on account of its weight, could never have 
employed afloat, except over very small areas indeed. 

During the period which witnessed such vast improvements 
armour, there was, strange to say, no commensurate improvement in 
the projectiles 1 designed to attack it. Guns improved, and gunnery 
improved; but, after the introduction of face-hardened armour, 
projectiles made but little progress. Indeed, the armour-piercing 
shells (shells with small bursting-charges and hardened points), and 
common-shells (shells with large bursting charges and thinner wal 

Generally made of chrome steel after about 1886, by the Holtzer and other 
processes, or of nickel-steel. American projectiles made more progress 
pean ones. 


used in 1900 were very little different from those used in 1890, 
except in one feature, which, however, was extraneous to the shell 
itself. About the year 1894, the device of capping projectiles with a 
small mass of soft steel was invented by Mr. Isaac G. Johnson, in 
America, and, it is said, almost simultaneously in Eussia. The 
capped projectile, when striking at right angles, was found to have 
a penetrating force 10, 15, or even 20 per cent, greater than that of 
the uncapped one. Several theories were advanced to account for 
this, but what seems to be the true one may be thus stated : 

" The function of the cap is to prepare the plate so that the projectile strikes it at 
the most advantageous moment. When the mass, consisting of the cap and projectile, 
strikes the plate, the hard surface of the latter is 'dished' elastically, and absorbs a 
considerable proportion of the energy of impact. This energy does not, however, react 
on the projectile, the velocity of which is barely checked, its progress through the soft 
cap being comparatively easy. The projectile, therefore, reaches the plate with nearly 
all its original inertia, and finds the hard surface of the latter already ' dished ' to its 
elastic limit. The resistance then becomes purely local, and the hole gradually 
enlarges as the projectile moves ou." ' 

The invention was quickly adopted by the United States, Russia, 
and France, but at the end of the century it had not fully com- 
mended itself to the British Admiralty, although official experiments 
had been made with it in England. In fact, with regard to nearly 
all new inventions bearing upon naval warfare, Great Britain showed 
herself intensely conservative. 

Upon the whole it may be said that no invention of the latter 
part of the nineteenth century exercised a greater influence upon the 
principles of naval warfare than that of the automobile torpedo. 

As has been shown in previous volumes, torpedoes or " infernal 
machines," of one kind or another, were employed by or against the 
Royal Navy from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards. 
Prince Rupert's semi-piratical attempt to blow up the Leopard* 
involved the use of a device of this sort; the "machine" 3 of 1694 
was of similar character ; the Americans endeavoured to explode 
mines or torpedoes under British vessels in both their wars with 
the parent country; the "catamaran" 4 of 1804 was a towing 
torpedo under another name ; and the Russians did some little 
damage with their stationary torpedoes* or mines in 1855. 

1 See papers by Lieut. Cleland Davis, U.S.N., and Prof. P. R. Alger, U.S.N., in 
Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Inst.,' Vol. xxvii., No. 3. See also 'The Naval 
Annual,' 1901. 

2 Vol. ii., p. 127. * Vol. v., p. 69. 

8 Vol. ii., p. 407 n. 5 Vol. vi., p. 483. 


The forms of torpedo principally used in the British service after 
the Bussian war were five in number, viz., stationary torpedoes or 
submarine mines, to be exploded by the concussion of a passing 
vessel, or by electricity or mechanical means at a desired moment ; 
spar torpedoes, or explosive charges carried at the end of a spar at a 
boat's bows ; towing torpedoes, of which class the best known 
example was the short-lived and unsatisfactory Harvey ; automobile 
torpedoes, such as the Whitehead ; and controllable torpedoes, such 
as the Brennan. In the earlier days the charge was gunpowder ; in 
the later ones, guncotton or some other " high explosive." 

The first and most successful of all automobile torpedoes was the 
Whitehead, so called from the name of its inventor, to whom 
belongs the great credit of utilising hydrostatic pressure to regulate 
the depth of the weapon's immersion in the water. It seems to 
have been in 1864 that Mr. Whitehead's attention was originally 
directed to the subject, it having been then suggested to him by 
Captain Luppis, of the Austrian Navy, to build a surface-floating 
vessel which, without the aid of a crew on board, could be propelled 
against an enemy. Whitehead used as his motive power compressed 
air, which he stored in a strong steel receptacle, and which, on being 
released, drove an engine and worked a screw. He passed four 
years in study and labour, spent about 40,000 in experiments, and 
then produced his invention. It was still very imperfect, although 
of wonderful ingenuity ; but after its adoption by the British Navy 
it was continuously improved until it became a most efficient and 
trustworthy weapon of considerable range and great speed. Full 
accounts of its history and development may be found in the works 
mentioned in the note below. 1 

At the end of the century two sizes of these torpedoes were used 
in the British service, the 14-inch, and the so-called 18-inch. The 
real diameter of the latter was 17 '71 inches, or 45 centimetres. 
Torpedoes for the Navy were at that time made not only at Fiume, 
where Mr. Whitehead's parent works were, but also at the Eoyal 
Gun Factory, Woolwich 2 (E. G. F. type), at the Portland Harbour 
Torpedo Works (Mr. Whitehead's), and by Messrs. Greenwood and 

1 Clowes, " The Naval Pocket Book " (1896 and annually) ; " The Naval Annual " 
(1886 and annually); Sleeman, "Torpedoes and Torpedo Warfare" (2nd Ed. 1889); 
Armstrong, "Torpedoes and Torpedo Vessels" (1896); Publications of the Torpedo 
Station, Newport, Rhode Island (1874, etc.) ; " The Torpedo Manual "' ; Jane, " The 
Torpedo in Pc>ace and War." 

2 They had previously been made at the Royal Laboratory (type R. L.). 


Batley, of Leeds. All were then, however, manufactured according 
to the K. Gr. F. specifications, it having been decided to discontinue 
the use of other designs. Among the improvements of the last few 
years of the century was the fitting to the torpedo of the Obry 
gyroscope steering apparatus, for the automatic correction of any 
tendency on the part of the weapon to deflect from the original line 
of fire. 

Particulars of a few of the numerous types of automobile 
torpedoes which were produced at different times for the Navy are 
appended . 

The ranges given in the table are those to which the torpedo 
would travel with fairly sustained speed ; but some of the perfected 
long 18-inch weapons, fitted with the gyroscope, would travel 
accurately, although at a very much diminished velocity, up to 
about 2000 yards. The explosive charge in all of them consisted of 

Type and " Mark." Date. 

Leugth. Weight. 

.Speed up to 
600 yards. 

B"*' E Ch P arT 

ft. in. 



Yds. Ibs. 

14-in. R.L., Mk. 1** . . j 1876-80 

14 6 





14-in. R.L., and Leeds, \ , QQK 
Mk. IV* . . . ./j 

14 11| 





14-in. R.L., and Leeds, \! ,,, 
Mk. VIII. . . J 

14 Hi 





14-in. R.G.F., Mk. IX . 1897 

14 llf 





18-in., Mk. I . . . 1891 

16 7i 





18-in., Mk. II . . . 1895 

16 74 





18-in. R.G.F., Mk. IV . ! 1897 

16 74 





18-in. Short (for boats) . 1895 

12 4 




85 -5 

guncotton. The air-chamber, of finest Whitworth compressed steel, 
from 275 to 365-inch thick, contained air compressed by means of 
special pumps fitted on board the discharging ships, the pressure in 
some of the later " marks " of torpedo running as high as 1350 Ibs. 
per square inch. 

These torpedoes could be discharged in several ways, e.g., from 
ejector tubes, by means of the initial impulse of compressed air, or 
of the explosion of a small charge of gunpowder ; or from dropping- 
gear a clip-like device by means of which the torpedo was lowered 
overboard into the water, and there started and released without 
extraneous impulse. The ejector-tubes fitted to torpedo-boats and 
destroyers were, for the most part, training tubes mounted on deck. 
The tubes fitted in larger craft were chiefly either similar tubes, 
which were trained through above-water ports ; or submerged tubes, 


which were fixed in position, and which had to be aimed by means 
of the vessel's helm. Towards the end of the century the tendency 
lay in the direction of fitting only submerged tubes to large ships, as 
it was recognised that a hostile projectile striking the detonator or 
air-chamber of a torpedo in an above-water tube would probably 
explode it with disastrous results. 

It was sought to afford protection to ships against torpedoes by 
fitting them with moveable nets, or crinolines, which could be 
boomed out to a considerable distance from the hulls. Nets of this 
nature were supplied to the Thunderer as early as 1877. They were 
subsequently much improved, and after 1898 were made so sub- 
stantial as to be almost impregnable to the assaults of the various 
cutters, nippers, and other devices with which the noses of White- 
heads were at length provided. 

Controllable torpedoes, such as the Brennan, 1 the principle of 
which was purchased by the British Government in 1882, were 
never part of the armament of the Navy, but were employed by the 
War Department for purposes of coast defence. The Brennan was 
a torpedo driven and directed by means of wires, the home ends of 
which were on drums in the operating station on shore, and the 
outward ends of which were on much smaller drums inside the body 
of the weapon. The very rapid winding-in of the shore ends of 
the wires worked the propellers of the torpedo ; and a very ingenious 
device enabled the Weapon to be steered with great accuracy. Such 
a torpedo could not be outmanoeuvred, and it possessed many other 
advantages ; but it was not suitable for use by ships, which would 
have been liable to have their screws fouled, or to foul the screws 
of their consorts, by the wires, and which would have been obliged 
to carry special engines of considerable size wherewith to drive the 
drums at the necessary speed. 

Akin to the torpedo is the submarine boat. Until the autumn of 
1900 the British Admiralty appeared to pay but little attention to 
the assiduity with which certain foreign powers had been experi- 
menting with submarines during the previous twelve or fifteen years. 
It then suddenly ordered the construction of five craft of the kind 
by Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim, of Barrow. The type chosen 
was that of the American Holland boat ; and the dimensions were 
to be : length, 63 feet 4 inches ; beam. 11 feet 9 inches ; submerged 
displacement, 120 tons. Propulsion was to be by means of an Otto. 
Invented in 1877 by Mr. Louis Brennan, of Melbourne. 

62 CIVIL HlSTOltY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1857-1900. 

gasolene engine for surface steaming, and by means of an electric 
motor of the waterproof pattern for work when submerged. The 
speed aimed at was 7 knots. 

It was explained on behalf of the Admiralty that the ordering of 
these boats did not necessarily imply that the authorities had any 
faith in their usefulness for the purposes of war. The boats were 
required chiefly for experimental purposes. There were indications, 
however, that, even before the year 1900, the progress of invention 
had rendered it needless further to experiment with submarine boats 
which demanded the employment of officers and men in them, and 
which inevitably exposed their crews to extraordinary risks. Just 
as, by the Marconi system, it had been found possible to telegraph 
without wires, so, by the systems of Orling and Armstrong, Fiske, 
Govan, and others, it had been found possible to transmit to a 
distance, without the intervention of wires or other artificial 
connections, electrical impulses whereby automobile torpedoes or 
larger vessels could be started, stopped, steered, and otherwise 
controlled. It seemed, therefore, at the end of the century, as if 
the future, so far as submarine warfare was concerned, lay rather 
with some weapon like a wireless Brennan l than with the wholly 
self-contained and self-dependent submarine boat and its crew. 

Concerning the progress of materiel in other directions there is 
room to say little here. The internal illumination of ships was 
revolutionised during the period under review, the old-fashioned 
lantern, with its dim candle, giving place first to the scarcely 
brighter and far more cumbrous oil-lamp, and finally to the electric 
light. Electric night sights, for guns, were also introduced ; 
and, indeed, electricity on ship-board became of ever increasing 
importance as the century drew to its end, until at last it was 
employed, in preference to steam or hydraulics, as a power for the 
general service of many ships of war, and was applied, for example, 
to the loading, training, and elevating of heavy guns, as well as to 
the firing of them ; to steering gear ; to the working of ammunition 
hoists, capstans, and cranes ; and to the transmission of orders 
within the vessel, by means not only of telephones, but also of 
speed, course, and other indicators. It was also used in search- 
lights ; 2 in the working of mast-head and other signals, and of 

1 For convenience of reference, all torpedoes or other vessels thus controlled by 
electrical impulses without wires may be styled " actinauts." Author in New Liberal 
Review, June, 1901. See also Author's paper read to the I.N.A., Mar. 21, 1902. 

1 The searchlight was fitted in the Alexandra in 1876. 

, IV < 


ventilating machinery ; and in a hundred other ways far too 
numerous to specify. Apparatus for wireless telegraphy on the 
Marconi s}'stem was fitted in several British ships in the year 

Masts and sails died out very slowly ; and, even at the end of 
the nineteenth century, when they had all but disappeared from the 
ships of the Navy, their revival, especially in sea-going training 
vessels, was strenuously advocated by a certain number of naval 
officers who had been accustomed to them in their youth, and who 
retained exaggerated ideas of their value, if only as a means of 
giving physical exercise to seamen, and developing self-reliance, 
smartness and resourcefulness. By that date, however, the training 
squadron itself, which until two or three years before had consisted 
exclusively of masted cruisers, was composed solely of modern 
vessels without a single sail among them ; and almost the only 
sailing-craft that lingered in commission were a few old brigs 
attached as tenders to the stationary training-ships for boys at 
Portland, Portsmouth, and Devonport, the Cruiser, training sloop 
for ordinary seamen in the Mediterranean, and some semi-obsolete 
ironclads and cruisers of little or no fighting value, which, though 
they had masts and sails, seldom moved except under steam. 

In the larger craft, the military mast, and, in smaller vessels, 
the mere pole for signalling purposes, had taken the place of the 
old mast with yards and sails. The military mast began to come 
into vogue in the early 'seventies with the advent of the low- 
freeboard sea-going turret ships of the Devastation type ; and, upon 
the general adoption eight or ten years later of machine and small 
quick-firing guns, the mast was generally provided with one or more 
capacious fighting tops in which such weapons could be mounted so 
as to command an enemy's upper deck in action, and in which 
searchlights could be placed. The military mast was of steel, and 
hollow ; and the top could be reached either by shrouds or by 
footholds let into the mast, while, in some cases, there was also 
a ladder or stairway within the mast. It served not only to support 
the top, and to furnish lofty look-out posts, but also to carry light 
cross-jack yards and topmasts, whence signals could be advantageously 
displayed. To the topmasts semaphore arms and flashing lamps 
were also frequently fitted, and so arranged as to be worked by men 
under shelter below. 

Conning-towers were provided in all large war-ships of the last 


quarter of the century. In these, which were heavily armoured,, 
fittings, electrical and otherwise, were placed, by means of which 
a commanding officer could control the general management of his 
vessel without quitting the position. But the conning-tower had 
the necessary disadvantage of occupying a known and exposed post, 
upon which an enemy would naturally endeavour to concentrate his 
fire ; and it was recognised that the protection afforded, even by 
very thick armour, would scarcely save an officer within the tower 
from disabling if not fatal shock in case the tower should be struck 
fairly by a heavy projectile ; while the effects of the impact would 
certainly involve the putting out of action of the various fittings and 
the delicate machinery within the tower. While, therefore, conning- 
towers continued to be built into all large ships of war, many 
officers held the opinion that their own efficiency in action would 
be best assured by taking up a position in some other part of the 
vessel. To meet their views, alternative fighting stations were 
almost always provided elsewhere, and furnished with facilities for 
transmitting orders throughout the ship. 

The introduction, in 1857, of the International Commercial Code 
of flag-signals led to gradual improvement in the flag-signalling 
system in use in the Koyal Navy. The Commercial Code is used 
by British men-of-war for communicating with merchant-vessels or 
foreign war-ships. This Code originally employed eighteen flags ; 
to which eight have since been added. The Naval Code requires 
as many as forty-five different flags and pennants. 

Great improvements in naval night-signalling l began to be made 
in the early sixties, indirectly in consequence of suggestions put 
forward by Mr. Charles Babbage, and directly in consequence of the 
energetic advocacy of Lieutenant Philip Howard Colomb, R.N., who 
induced Kear-Admiral Sidney Colpoys Dacres to adopt his new 
system of night-signalling in the Channel Squadron towards the 
end of 1863, although Bear-Admiral Hastings Beginald Yelverton 
temporarily restored the old system in 1866. What the old systems 

1 Charles Babbage, in 1851, invented a numerical system of flashing signals to 
lighthouses and ships by night. See his book, " The Exposition of 1851." See also 
his letter in the Times of June 16, 1855, and the Mechanics' Magazine, 1854, and 
Aug. 1861. This last brought the subject to Colomb's notice, as shown iu a letter of 
Aug. 22, 1861, from him to C. Babbage, cited in a letter of Henry P. Babbage to the 
Times of Oct. 25, 1899. Colomb's patent was sealed on Oct. 31, 18(i2. He adopted 
the Morse system ; Babbage preferred the simpler numerical system : otherwise the in- 
ventions were much the same. See also Journal of tlie M.U.S. Inst., 1863, pp. 285, 386. 


were may be gathered from a paper contributed by Colomb to the 
Journal of the Royal United Service Institution : 

" Our naval night-signals," he said, " are now more inefficient than they were in the 
middle of the last [eighteenth] century. They are indeed so bad that a flag-officer 
recently in command assured me that he dated not make more than six out of the one 
hundred and three signals in the night-signal book, BO much less were the chances of 
error with no signals at all than with the naval night-signal system. Simultaneously 
with the numbering of the flags, the plan adopted to get over the night-signalling 
difficulty was this : One light meant one : two lights two ; three lights three ; four 
lights four; then five was represented by false tires in any number; one gun meant 
ten!; two guns twenty ; three guns thirty. Each night-signal set down was then 
numbered as the day-signals, from one upwards. The signal twenty-one was made by 
two guns for twenty, and one light. The signal seventeen, by one gun for ten, false 
fires in any number for five, and two lights for two, making seventeen in all. This 
was the system in use sixty-four years ago, and I am quite satisfied that our present 
arrangements are not so good. It is found in practice that not more than fifteen forms 
of light can be used. They are all made with not more than four lights at a time. If, 
therefore, fifteen signals were all that could be required for night communication at sea, 
we might suppose that the want was fulfilled ; and neither I nor anyone else would 
have much to say against it. Seeing, however, that 14,000 signals are the require- 
ments of a fleet in the daytime, it would be rather a strain upon our imagination to 
suppose we could contentedly drop 13,985 of them the moment darkness came on ; so 
that it has all along been the struggle to extend the number of our signals by night to 
some quantity less disproportionate than 15 to 14,000." 

Lieutenant Colomb's energy was rewarded by his promotion to 
the rank of Commander on December 12th, 1863. 

The wreck of the gun-vessel Griffon, in October, 1866, after 
collision with the Pandora, consequent upon the defective condition 
of the night-signalling system, once more directed attention to 
Colomb's plan of conveying night messages by means of flashing- 
signals based upon the Morse Code of longs and shorts ; and early 
in 1867 his plan was officially adopted throughout the service. 

In the latter half of the nineteenth century the uniform of 
British naval officers underwent numerous modifications. At the 
end of the Russian war 1 changes were made in the distinction 
marks on the epaulettes ; Mates were given two shoulder-straps, 
or "scales"; Midshipmen were provided with dirks instead of 
swords ; the special engineer button was abolished ; the cap-badge 
was established ; and mohair instead of gold lace became the 
material for the cap-band. Further alterations were made in I860, 2 
1861 , 3 and 1863. 4 The curl on the sleeve of officers of the executive 
branch dates from 1860 ; and in 1863, 5 owing to changes which had 

1 Circ. of Ap. 11, 1856. 2 Circ. of July 3, 1860. 3 Mem. of Sept. 5, 1861. 

4 Circ. of June 5, 1863, and a subsequent codification of the regulations. 
6 Mem. of Mar. 25, 1863. 


been made in the relative rank of officers, Captains were given four, 
Commanders three, and Lieutenants two stripes, and Sub-Lieutenants 
one stripe of distinction lace on the sleeve. The distinctive coloured 
stripes between the stripes of distinction lace on the sleeves of non- 
military officers also date from 1863, when scarlet was assigned to 
Surgeons, white to accountant officers, and purple velvet to Engineers. 
Blue velvet was subsequently assigned to the navigating branch, but 
it was abolished in 1867, l and afterwards given to Naval Instructors. 
Narrow gold lace stripes were given to Sub-Lieutenants, and chief 
warrant officers ; and crimson and gold sashes, superseded in 1874 
by aiguillettes, were ordered to be worn by naval aides-de-camp to 
the Sovereign. In 1867, moreover, the distinguishing marks for 
gunnery instructors and seamen-gunners were introduced. Beards 
and moustaches, if worn together and kept close trimmed, were first 
allowed in 1869. 2 

In 1877 3 Lieutenants of eight years' standing and upwards in 
that rank, and some other officers, were granted an additional 
narrow stripe between the two broader ones; and Honorary 
Physicians and Surgeons to the Sovereign were given a black and 
gold sash. In 1879 4 a ship-jacket was introduced, and buttons 
were ordered to be worn upon the sleeves below the stripes. In 
1885 tunics and helmets, with puggarees for hot climates, were 
authorised. In 1888 torpedo-men were granted distinguishing 
badges. In 1889 the monkey-jacket was substituted for the blue 
tunic. The entire regulations were amended in 1891, 5 when 
shoulder-straps indicative of rank were directed to be worn on 
great-coats, on white undress, and on white jackets ; and in 
December, 1900, among other alterations, the collars and cuffs 
of flag-officers' full dress coats were directed to be decorated with 
gold oak-leaf embroidery. 

Seamen's uniform, very similar to that which was worn until 
the end of the century, was established in 1857. 6 The tarpaulin hat 
and blue jacket which formed part of this were, however, abolished 
in 1891. Further instructions, involving other modifications, were 
issued in 1893,' and February, 1897. The conferring of good- 
conduct badges, first established under an Order in Council of 

1 Mem. of July 2, 1867. 2 Circ. of June 24, 1869. 

3 The regulations had been re-codified on Oct. 16, 1875 : see Circ. of Oct. 30, 1877. 

4 Begs, of May 7, 1879. Circ. of Oct. 10, 1891. 
6 Circ. of Jan. 30, 1857. ' Jan. 11, 1893. 


January 15th, 1849, was the subject of revised regulations which 
were promulgated in 1857, 1 and which were subsequently amended 
from time to time. After 1892 patterns of naval uniform were 
exhibited at the Admiralty, and an illustrated manual on the subject 
was issued, with the object of ensuring that thenceforward there 
should be as little divergence as possible from the established types. 
The healthiness of the Navy improved astonishingly in the 
period under review. The improvement was due to numerous 
causes, such, for example, as the general substitution of iron or 
steel ships for wooden ones, and the consequent disappearance of 
bilge-water and its noxious exhalations ; the better education and 
finer moral character of the continuous-service seaman; the fact 
that the crews of the ships of the last half of the nineteenth 
century were composed of picked individuals, trained and hardened 
from boyhood, and not, as had been the case previously, of men 
drawn from none knew whence, and often old or constitutionally 
broken ; the general advances in sanitation ; the use of antiseptics, 
and the progress of medicine and surgery ; the practice of employing 
distilled water for drinking purposes ; and the closer attention paid 
to the men's comfort on board ship. The passing of the Contagious 
Diseases Act in 1866 was another most beneficent factor, until the 
unwise agitation of a few well-meaning but fanatical enthusiasts 
induced the legislature, not many years later, to stultify its previous 
policy by resolving that the Act should no longer be enforced. But 
for that unfortunate retrogressive step the health of the Navy, in 
1900, would have been even better than it was. 

In that year, as shown by the Report which was issued in 
January, 1902, the death-rate in the service was but 7 '27 per 1000, 
or about 3 per cent, less than the general death-rate in the healthiest 
town in the United Kingdom and that in spite of the fact that the 
list included 74 deaths from wounds received in South Africa and 
China, and 17 suicides. The bluejacket, however, was by no means 
specially exempt from slight illnesses, for during the year there 
were no fewer than 84,550 cases under medical treatment, or, in 
other words, 882-29 men out of every 1000 experienced some kind 
of sickness or accident in ^he course of the twelve months. It must 
be admitted, on the other hand, that the seaman of the end of the 
century was encouraged to appeal to the surgeon upon the smallest 
excuse, and that every attempt was made by the medical staff to 

1 Circ. of May 20, 1857. 

F 2 


induce him rather to spend a day or two in the sick-bay than to 
risk serious results by neglecting himself even for an hour. It is 
mentioned incidentally in the Eeport that, during the fighting round 
Tientsin, the Americans, Germans, Italians, and Eussians had 
neither medical officers nor hospitals, and that their sick and 
wounded were tended by the British a pleasant testimony to the 
efficiency of the organisation of the medical department of the 
Navy. It is also mentioned incidentally that the Boers painted the 
red cross of Geneva on all sorts of vehicles ; that at Belmont they 
fired on the British from under the cover of " ambulance " wagons ; 
and that at Magersfontein they used " ambulance " wagons to 
convey rifles and ammunition across exposed positions. 1 

The period of the war with Russia marks, in a rough and general 
way, the line of demarcation between the old Navy of wood and 
sails, and the new Navy of iron and steam-power ; but it also marks 
the opening of an era of progress and advancement more rapid as 
well as more striking than had ever been witnessed previously. 
When once the Navy began to change, it changed with almost 
bewildering speed, and continued to change with steadily increasing 
quickness. So much, indeed, was this the case, that it may be 
said with little or no fear of exaggeration that the best ship existing 
in 1867 would have been more than a match for the entire British 
fleet existing in 1857, and, again, that the best ship existing in 
1877 would have been almost, if not quite, equal to fighting and 
beating the entire fleet of only ten years earlier. By 1890, the 
ships of 1877 had become well-nigh obsolete; and by 1900 the 
best ships, even of 1890, were hardly worthy of a place in the 
crack fleets of the country. Nay, as a matter of fact, of the eight 
battleships which belonged to the Channel squadron at the end 
of 1900, the oldest had been less than eight years off the stocks ; 
and of the ten battleships which at the same date were attached 
to the sea-going Mediterranean fleet, not one had been launched 
nine years. As with the battleships, so with the cruisers. By the 
end of 1900 the best cruisers of 1890 had been told off to the less 
important stations ; and, in the meantime, the fleets everywhere 
had been reinforced with craft, such as destroyers, of types which 
in 1890 had been utterly unknown. 

To keep pace with these continuous changes it was early 
recognised that fresh provision must be made for the technical 
1 Evidence of Dept.-Insp.-Genl. James Porter, R.N. 


and scientific training of officers and men. Up to 1854, Naval 
Cadets, upon nomination, went at once, as a rule, to sea-going and 
regularly commissioned ships, where they had to pick up their 
professional education as best they could from the Naval Instructors 
and other officers who were their shipmates. In 1854 an improve- 
ment was made by the commissioning at Portsmouth of an old 
wooden ship of the line, the Illustrious, Captain Eobert Harris, as 
a stationary training ship, or school, for Naval Cadets. A similar 
school was opened in the Implacable, at Devonport, in 1855 ; but 
one school was soon found to be enough for the purpose, and the 
Devonport establishment was closed. New regulations for the 
entry and training of Naval Cadets were issued in 1857 * ; and on 
January 1st, 1859, the Britannia, 120, 2 was commissioned at 
Portsmouth by the same Captain Robert Harris to take the place 
of the less suitable Illustrious. She was removed to Portland in 
1862, and to more appropriate moorings at Dartmouth on September 
30th, 1863 ; and although the original Britannia was later con- 
demned, a new Britannia, previously known as the Prince of 
Wales, 3 took her place in July, 1869, and retained it until the end 
of the nineteenth century, at which time, however, preparations 
were in progress for the removal of the whole establishment to 
quarters on shore hard by. In 1870, the Trafalgar, 60, screw, was 
commissioned as a sea-going training-ship for cadets ; and the 
Bristol, 31, Aurora, 28, and other vessels were subsequently used 
for the same purpose until the establishment of the regular Training 
Squadron in 1885. 

Something has been written already 4 concerning the origin of 
the naval gunnery schools at Portsmouth and Devonport. At 
Portsmouth the establishment was housed afloat for many years 
in the Excellent (ex Boyne, built in 1810), and subsequently in 
another Excellent (ex Queen Charlotte, built also in 1810). In 1891, 
however, when barracks, practice-batteries, etc., had been erected 
on Whale Island, a piece of made land in Portsmouth Harbour, 
the establishment was transferred to the shore and housed in the 
commodious new buildings, although the officers and men attached 
to the school continued to be nominally borne afloat. The Excellent, 
which had been the Queen Charlotte, was in that year condemned ; 
and the conventional headquarters of the school were lodged in a 

1 Admlty. Circ. No. 588, of Feb. 23, 1857. 2 Bit. in 1820. 

3 A 131-gun ship of 6201 tons, built in 1800. See Vol. VI. p. 203. 


508-ton gunboat, the Handy (built in 1883), which thereupon took 
over the name Excellent, and retained it until the end of the period 
under review. Numerous tenders were attached to her for gunnery 
training afloat; and on shore at Whale Island such parts of the 
gunnery course, including field exercises and theoretical instruc- 
tion, as could be carried out as well or better on dry land were 
attended to. 

The Devonport gunnery school was established in 1856 on board 
the Cambridge (built in 1815), and was eventually transferred to 
another Cambridge (ex Windsor Castle, built in 1858), in which 
it remained afloat for the rest of the century. A gunnery school 
on shore was subsequently established at Sheerness, the staff and 
other officers and men attached to it being borne in the Wildfire, 
flagship at the Nore. 

In the meantime, the increasing importance of electricity and 
submarine mining, and the introduction of the torpedo, necessitated 
the establishment of torpedo schools, the Vernon 1 being told off 
for the purpose at Portsmouth in 1876, 2 and the Defiance 3 at 
Devonport in 1884. After the usefulness of destroyers had become 
evident, and when sufficient numbers of such craft became available, 
sea-going instructional flotillas of them were formed in 1895, with 
headquarters at Portsmouth, Devonport, and in the Medway 
respectively ; and large numbers both of stokers and of seamen 
were systematically passed through them for purposes of practical 
training. It may be added that a signal school was established at 
Portsmouth in 1888 ; and a school of telegraphy at Devonport in 
1899 ; and that homing-pigeon lofts were opened at Portsmouth in 
1896, and at Devonport in 1897. Several years earlier, while afloat 
during the Naval Manoeuvres, the author, from a ship thirty or 
forty miles from the Irish coast, sent by pigeon a message which 
duly reached and was published, with an explanatory note, by the 
Times. The bird used on that occasion belonged to Kingstown, 
and its services were lent to the writer by its owner, a naval officer. 

Of the training establishments for boys for the Navy, the one 
at Devonport, known as the Lion, 4 and previously known as the 

1 The Vernon in 1900 was the en-Donegal, 100, built in 1858. 

2 The Vernon had previously, from 1873, been a kind of torpedo tender to the 
Excellent. The (T) prefixed to the names of Torpedo-Lieutenants first appeared in the 
Navy List of November, 1878. 

s The Defiance was an old 91-gun ship of ] 861. 
4 The Lion, built in 1847. 


Implacable l (the two ships being ultimately combined), dates from 
I860 ; the one at Portland (formerly in Southampton Water), 
known as the Boscaicen, 2 from 1861 ; and the one at Portsmouth, 
known as the St. Vincent, 3 from 1862. Other boys' training-ships 
were added from time to time, sailing brigs being attached to most 
of them for instructional purposes. The education of the boys 
was continued, at one time in the flying squadrons which were 
temporarily organised, and afterwards in the regularly constituted 
Training Squadron, which, only in the last year of the century, 
was modernised and made to consist exclusively of mastless ships. 4 

The education of engineer officers for the Navy was furthered 
by the establishment of a school for engineer students in the 
Marlborough, and by the opening of Keyham College in 1880 ; 
the advanced training of officers, and especially of executive officers, 
in theoretical subjects, by the opening of the Eoyal Naval College 
at Greenwich in 1873 5 ; and the development of the science of naval 
architecture, by the establishment of a Eoyal School of Naval 
Architecture 8 at Kensington in 1863, and by the re-organisation 
of the Eoyal Corps of Naval Constructors in 1883. 7 The training 
of the reserves was, perhaps rather inadequately, provided for by 
the stationing at various points round the coast of antiquated vessels 
as drill ships for the Eoyal Naval Eeserve ; for all these craft 
mounted guns which were obsolete and useless, and only in the 
last few years of the century were comparatively modern ships 
substituted for a few of the old ones, and better guns supplied here 
and there for exercise purposes. The sea-training of the Coast 
Guard was carried on in the Coast Guard District Ships. These, 
like the Drill Ships of Eeserve, were often most unsuitable craft 
until 1870, when the ironclad Repulse was sent as guard-ship to 
Queensferry. Efficient fighting vessels gradually thenceforward 
found their way to the various ports, not only as coast guard- 
ships, but also as port guard-ships. These last, originally the 
flagships of the Port Admirals, were, in 1857 and for many years 

1 In 1900, ex-Duguay Trouin, taken 1805 ; the last surviving prize of the long 
French wars. 

2 The Bosca-wen, built in 1841. 3 The St. Vincent, built in 1815. 

4 The Training Squadron became the Cruiser Squadron in 1901. 

5 The first President was B.-Adrn. Sir Astley Cooper Key. See Admlty. Min. of 
Jan. 17, 1873. 

6 The Admiralty section of this was transferred to the H. N. Coll. at Greenwich 
in 1873. 

7 Parl. Paper, No. 277 of 1883. 


afterwards, old sailing ships of the line, with no fighting value save 
perhaps as floating batteries. In course of time, however, the 
salutary practice arose of employing as port guard-ships fighting 
craft ready to go to sea at a few hours' notice. It then became 
the custom to fly the Port Admiral's flag, not in the guard-ship, 
but in some yacht or other non-fighting vessel. Thus, in 1900, 
the flagships at the principal ports were : at the Nore, the yacht 
Wildfire, with the battleship Sans Pareil as guard-ship; at 
Portsmouth, Nelson's Victory, with the battleships Trafalgar and 
Inflexible as guard-ships ; and at Plymouth, the yacht Vivid, with 
the battleships Nile and Devastation as guard-ships. 

The higher naval education was furthered somewhat, especially 
towards the end of the nineteenth century, by the influence of the 
Koyal United Service Institution. The establishment of this was 
first advocated in 1829. The actual establishment dates from 
June 25th, 1831, when it was formed as " The Naval and Military 
Library and Museum," and was lodged in Vanbrugh House, 
Whitehall Yard, a small building furnished for the purpose by the 
Government. In 1833 a larger house, the old office of the Board 
of Works in Inner Scotland Yard, was also provided at the national 
expense, and the two buildings were connected. A lecture theatre 
was added in 1849-50. In the meantime the name had been 
changed to the one which the Institution now bears. The Journal, 
in which the proceedings of the Institution and other matters of 
naval and military interest are recorded, has been published 
periodically since 1857 ; in which year also the Government began 
to recognise the usefulness of the Institution by making an annual 
contribution to its funds. In 1860 a royal charter of incorporation 
was granted ; from 1874 onwards a gold medal was offered yearly 
for the best naval or military essay read before the members ; and in 
1890 Queen Victoria granted to the Institution the use of its present 
quarters, the Banqueting House, Whitehall, to which additions were 
made at the south end. These were completed and opened by 
H.E.H. the Prince of Wales on February 20th, 1895. 

The Institution includes a very valuable museum, a large theatre, 
a council room, a library, two reading rooms, and a topographical 
room. Lectures on naval and military subjects are delivered 
periodically in the theatre, and are subsequently discussed. Ordinary 
membership is confined to officers, active or retired, of the two 
services, and to officials of the naval and military departments, the 


entrance fee being 1, and the annual subscription a like sum. 1 
The Institution deserves the support of all naval officers. 

To attempt to give even a mere bald catalogue of the minor 
legislative and administrative changes which influenced the Navy 
during the second half of the nineteenth century is here impossible. 
A few departures of special interest which may be noted are : the 
establishment in 1866 of savings' banks for the Navy and Eoyal 
Marines (29 & 30 Viet. c. 43) ; the introduction in 1860 of uniform 
watch-bills, quarter-bills, and station-bills ; the passing of the Naval 
Discipline Act of 1861, and of the New Naval Discipline Act of 
1866 ; the issue in 1871 2 of a circular restricting the infliction 
of corporal punishment in peace time ; the practical abolition of 
flogging in 1879 ; the withdrawal, in 1874, of flag-officers' privileges 
in connection with the filling of death vacancies, and with the 
making of haul-down promotions 3 ; and the adoption, in 1875, of a 
special form of service, compiled by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
for use at the launching of H. M. ships. 4 

On March 21st, 1862, the Eoyal Marine Artillery, with its 
headquarters at Eastney, was formed into a separate division ; and 
in 1869 the Woolwich division of the Eoyal Marines was abolished. 
Unhappily it has been impossible in these volumes to do full justice 
to the splendid services of this magnificent corps, which during the 
reign of Queen Victoria amply maintained its old glorious reputation. 
When, for example, on December 14th, 1864, the screw line-of- 
battle ship Bombay was destroyed by fire off Montevideo, 34 of the 
97 officers and men who perished were Marines, every sentry dying 
at his post. The record of the corps, indeed, has been equally fine 
in peace and in war. All its more conspicuous war services will, of 
course, be found chronicled in this book, but not, it may be feared, 
with as much detail as they deserve. 

A valuable innovation, due, however, not to official but to private 
initiative, was the publication for the first time in January, 1878, of 
Lean's ' Eoyal Navy List,' a quarterly, giving the dates of all 
commissions, and a record of the war services of every officer of the 
Eoyal Navy and Eoyal Marines, retired as well as active. This 
indispensable work of reference continued to be edited until the end 
of the century by its founder, Lieut. -Colonel Francis Lean, E.M. 

1 Information kindly supplied by Lieut.-Colonel R. Holden, secretary. 

2 Dec. 18, 187.1. 3 Giro, of Nov. 10, 1874. 

4 First used on Jan. 19, 1875, at the launch of the tug Perseverance, nt Devonport. 


Several orders and distinctions which were first created during 
the period under review have been, or may be, conferred upon naval 
officers, and should, therefore, be mentioned here. Of these are the 
Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, established in 1861, the 
ribbon of which is of light blue with a white stripe near each edge ; 
the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, instituted in 1878, 
and enlarged in 1887, the ribbon of which is of " imperial " blue ; 
the Distinguished Service Order, instituted in 1886, the ribbon of 
which is of red, with blue edges ; and the Eoyal Victorian Order, 
instituted in 1896, the ribbon of which is of dark blue with a narrow 
edging of three stripes, red, white, and red. Open to all ranks is 
the Albert Medal, instituted in 1866 for gallantry in saving or 
attempting to save life at sea, and enlarged in 1877 so as to be 
available for rewarding similar acts performed ashore. The Eoyal 
Humane Society's medals for saving or attempting to save life at 
sea, and the same Society's Stanhope Gold Medal, granted for the 
greatest act of gallantry of each year, may be worn by naval officers 
and men, if specially authorised, upon the right breast, as also may 
be the medals awarded by the Eoyal National Lifeboat Institution, 
the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Eoyal Benevolent Society, 
the honorary silver medal of Lloyd's, the Board of Trade medal, 
and the medal of the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society. 

In connection with this subject it may be added that the naval 
and Marine winners of the gold medal of the Eoyal United Service 
Institution, with their rank at the time, were as follows : 

1875, Commander Gerard Heury Uctred Noel; 1877, Commander Philip Howard 
Colonab ; 1879, Captain the Hon. Edmund Robert Fremantle ; 1881, Captain 
Lindesay Brine ; 1883, Captain Charles Johnstone ; 1885, Lieutenant Frederick 
Charles Doveton Sturdee; 1888, Captain (R.M.) John Frederick Daniell; 
1889, Captain Henry Forster Cleveland; 1891, Captain Robert William 
Craigie; 1893, Commander Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee; 1895, 
Commander Joseph Honner; 1897, Commander George Alexander Ballard ; 
and 1899, (again) Commander George Alexander Ballard. 

A few words on the subject of naval clubs may find a fit place 

Clubs of naval officers existed in London in the seventeenth 
century ; and, about the year 1675, one of them was in the habit 
of meeting at the Vulture Tavern in Cornhill on Tuesdays, and of 
dining there, assembling at 1 P.M., and separating at 5 P.M. Not 
many years afterwards a naval club existed at a tavern or coffee- 
house at Portsmouth. The oldest institution of the kind, however, 


that survived at the end of the nineteenth century was the Eoyal 
Navy Club of 1765, which, since January, 1889, had been united 
with an organisation, the Navy Club, only a few years its junior. 

The Eoyal Navy Club of 1765 was founded on February 4th, 
1765, at a meeting which was held at the house of Captain (later 
Sir) Basil Keith, E.N., among the other officers present being 
Captain (afterwards Admiral Sir) Eichard Onslow, and Captain 
(afterwards Admiral Sir) Hyde Parker (2). The proceedings of 
that day were confirmed, and rules were drawn up, at a meeting 
at the St. Alban's Tavern on February llth, when the club was 
formally named " The Navy Society." In the beginning it seems 
to have dined on Tuesdays during the season between November 
and April, first, for a short time, at the St. Alban's Tavern, then at 
the Castle Tavern, Henrietta Street, and then at the Shakespeare's 
Head. At that time twelve dinners a year were held. Subsequently 
the number was thirteen. In 1806 it removed to the Crown and 
Anchor ; in 1826, to the Piazza Coffee House, in Covent Garden ; 
and in 1850, to the Thatched House Tavern, St. James's Street. 
In 1829 the title of the society became " The Eoyal Naval Club of 
1765." Among the distinguished officers who at various times 
belonged to it were Kempenfelt, St. Vincent, Duncan, Hyde 
Parker (1), Howe, Bridport, Collingwood, Exmouth, de Saumarez, 
Nelson, Sidney Smith, Troubridge, and King William IV. 

The Navy Club, founded in 1785, was also a dining club, but 
with a limited membership. It met while Parliament was sitting. 
Its first house was the Star and Garter, in the City, where it dined 
on alternate Wednesdays. In 1800 it migrated to the Thatched 
House Tavern in St. James's Street, and dined first at 4 P.M., then 
at 5, and, after 1810, at 6 P.M. In 1825 the hour was 7 P.M. from 
Lady Day to the end of the season, the meeting days being then, 
or soon afterwards, Thursdays. In 1858 the dinner-hour became 
7.30 P.M., and in 1861 the club removed to Willis's Eooms (late 
Alrnack's). Among its members have been Keppel, Barrington, 
Hotham, Cornwallis, Gardner, Keith, Gambier, Nelson, Warren, 
Stopford, Hardy, Blackwood, Codrington, Hoste, and Broke. As 
has been mentioned already, it amalgamated with the older society 
in 1889. * After the closing of Willis's Eooms the club held its 
dinners at various places. 

1 For much of the above I am indebted to Fleet-Paymaster Edward Madgewick 
Roe, the Secretary |of the Royal Navy Club of 1765 and 1785. 


Attempts to found other exclusively naval clubs in London have 
not been on the whole successful ; but naval, as well as military, 
officers are admitted to the United Service 1 (founded 1815), the 
Junior United Service (1827), the Army and Navy 2 (1838), the 
Naval and Military (1862), the Junior Army and Navy (1869), etc. 
At Portsmouth, however, an exclusively naval club, carried on after 
the fashion of the large clubs in London, has existed for many 
years ; and there are clubs of the same kind at naval stations 

England has been described as Mother of Parliaments. With 
almost equal fitness she may be called a Mother of Navies. Already 
in these volumes many examples have been given of services rendered 
by her officers to the rising or struggling navies of other powers, 
and especially to those of Eussia, Portugal, and the South American 
republics. In the latter half of the nineteenth century she was 
frequently appealed to to furnish instructors and leaders to nations 
desirous either of creating fleets or of improving such fleets as they 
already possessed ; and, with or without permission of the Admiralty, 
numerous British officers, whose names deserve to be remembered, 
went abroad at various times, and devoted themselves to the develop- 
ment of foreign navies. 

Turkey, for example, secured the assistance of Captain Adolphus 
Slade, 3 who served her for about sixteen years, ending with 1866, 
and was known in the East as Muchaver Pasha. Captain the Hon. 
Augustus Charles Hobart 4 (later Hobart-Hampton), served her for 
many years from 1868 onwards, and as Pasha commanded her fleet 
during her war with Eussia in 1877-78. Navigating-Lieutenant 
Henry Felix Woods 5 also entered her service about 1868, and was 
created a Pasha in 1883 ; and Commander Charles William Man- 
thorpe" assumed the Ottoman uniform about the year 1877. 

Egypt benefited by the services of Captain 'Henry Frederick 
M'Killop 7 ; Commander George Morice, 8 who joined the Khedive 
in 1871, and was made a Ferik in 1886 ; and Lieutenant Arthur 
Charles Middlemass, who was lent to the Egyptian coastguard 
in 1884. 

China obtained at various times the professional assistance of 

1 Known as " The Senior." 2 Known as " The Rag." 

3 Born 1804; Capt. R.N. 1849; died v.-adm. on retd. list, 1877. 

4 Born 1822 ; Capt. R.N. 1863 ; died 188G. 

6 Nav.-Lieut. 1867 ; retd. 1874. Com. 1866 ; capt. on retd. list, 1873. 

7 Capt. R.N. 1862 ; retd. 1870. Com. 1869 ; capt. on retd. list, 1884. 


Captains Eichard Edward Tracey, Percy Putt Luxmoore, and 
AVilliam Metcalfe Lang, as well as of Commander Lawrence Ching, 
and of several Lieutenants and other officers. Both China and 
Japan also sent some of their own young officers to serve, by per- 
mission, in the British Navy, as did Germany, Chili, Denmark, 
Sweden, Norway, Greece, and other nationalities. 

The Japanese Navy, which, in the last thirty years of the 
century, grew in efficiency as well as in size until it ranked with 
the navies of the great continental European powers, was, in its 
infancy, developed and trained entirely by British officers ; among 
whom should be mentioned Commander Archibald Lucius Douglas, 
Lieutenant (retd. commander) Charles William Jones (who died 
Director of the Japanese Naval College in 1877), Navigating- 
Lieutenant Charles William Baillie, Lieutenant Albert George 
Sidney Hawes, E.M., Chief -Engineer Frederick William Sutton (2), 
and Engineer Thomas Skinner Gissing, all of whom served Japan 
during the decade 1870-1880, and Captain John Ingles, who was 
naval adviser to the Japanese government from 1887 to 1893. 

In addition, many British officers served in the various Indian 
marines, all of which were amalgamated in 1877 ; and others had 
a share in the development, if not in the establishment, of the 
Colonial Navies which sprang into existence in the last half of the 
nineteenth century in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, 
and Queensland. 1 Some of these were able to contribute to the 
general service of the Empire during the troubles in North China 
in 1900. 

Great Britain never derived, nor endeavoured to derive, com- 
pensating advantages from abroad. Instead of following the 
example of the other great powers, and appointing a naval attache 
to her diplomatic representative in each country possessed of a navy 
of any importance, she made it a practice to appoint one attache, 
who had to divide his attentions over the whole of Europe, and 
one other, accredited to the United States. Only occasionally and 

1 There were in existence in 1900 the following among other Colonial naval forces: 
the New South Wales Naval Defence Force ; the New South Wales Naval Artillery 
Volunteers ; the South Australia Naval Defence Force ; the Queensland Naval Defence 
Force; the Victorian Naval Defence Force ; the Victorian Naval Brigade (a militia) ; 
the Natal Naval Volunteers; and some naval or semi-naval organisations in Canada, 
Western Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, chiefly established under the Colonial 
Defence Act of 1865, though, in most cases, not until many years after it. In New 
South Wales and New Zealand naval volunteers were formed local acts. To 
these may be added the Royal Indian Marine alluded to above. 


temporarily did she depart from this custom, the result being that, 
in spite of the goodwill and energy of her representatives, she has 
always been very indifferently served, at least in Europe. Among 
the officers who did duty for her as naval attaches at different times 
were, in Europe, Captains Edward George Hore (who made Paris 
his official headquarters for eleven years prior to his death in 1871), 
James Graham Goodenough, Edward Henry Howard (1874-77), 
Henry Frederick Nicholson, Hubert Henry Grenfell, and Ernest 
Bice, and, at Washington, Bear-Admirals Edward Augustus Ingle- 
field, and William Gore Jones, and Captain the Hon. William John 
Ward. The Naval Intelligence Department at the Admiralty, under 
the Director of Naval Intelligence, was formed in January, 1887. Its 
establishment should have been followed at once by the appointment 
of many more attaches ; for there can be no doubt that capable and 
active attaches, especially if they be good linguists and professional 
enthusiasts, may be most valuable collectors of useful information, 
and that countries like France, Bussia, Germany, Italy, and Japan 
are each worthy of having a representative sent to them by any 
navy which desires to keep abreast of all modern progress. At the 
end of the century, nevertheless, there were still only three officers 
so employed. 

In the days of non-continuous service the British bluejacket was 
never properly appreciated by his country, except, indeed, during 
the great wars. Over and over again, when his services became 
urgently necessary, Great Britain was reminded by costly experience 
of his inestimable value, and of the difficulty of obtaining him keen, 
sound, and already trained for effective work in her fleets. Over 
and over again, when the peril had passed away, she thanklessly 
set him adrift in the world, and left him to shift for himself until 
she should again have need of men. It is true that Greenwich 
Hospital was open to him in the event of his disablement by 
wounds, disease, or old age, provided always that he could first 
qualify for admission to it ; but, if he were still fit for service, his 
country was so short-sighted as to neglect him almost entirely, not 
only after he had been paid off, but also when he happened to be 
ashore for a few days' leave. Indeed, it seemed to be accepted that 
the country had little or no interest in him except when he was 
actually doing duty. 

Wiser views began to prevail in the middle of the nineteenth 
century ; and nothing, perhaps, is better illustrative of the change 


which has come over the bluejackets in regard as well to the 
estimation in which he is held as to the estimation in which he 
holds himself, than the history of the rise and progress of the Sailors' 
Home at Portsmouth, and of similar institutions there and else- 

In 1850 or 1851, just before the introduction of continuous 
service, and when men were still being paid off with pockets full of 
money, to be the prey of sharks and harpies, far, perhaps, from 
home and friends, it occurred to three officers, Sir Edward Parry, 
Captain Eobert Fitzgerald Gambier, and Captain William Hutcheon 
Hall, to found a home where bluejackets might find shelter from 
the perils and snares of the Portsmouth streets. Many excellent 
people laughed at the scheme ; but Queen Victoria and the Prince 
Consort at once gave their support and subscriptions to it, and in 
1852 the Home was established and opened, with twenty-four 
cabins, containing thirty beds. Fresh accommodation was quickly 
discovered to be necessary. On the first Christmas night of the 
Home's existence, in spite of the fact that it had already been twice 
enlarged, more than half of the 250 men who slept in it had to 
lie on the bare floors. There could no longer be any doubt as to 
its utility. Supported chiefly by outside contributions, it continued 
to do steadily-increasing good work until 1864, when five-and- 
twenty petty officers and seamen who had enjoyed its hospitality 
set the example of contributing to its funds. From that time the 
Home began to become a club rather than a mere refuge, and soon 
seamen by the hundred subscribed to it. In 1869 a canteen for the 
sale of malt liquors was opened ; in 1870 an additional hundred 
cabins were fitted up ; and it became a common practice among 
bluejackets and Marines to allot their half-pay to the manager for 
safe-keeping, and to entrust him with their little valuables. In 1871 
a large recreation room was added, a room which soon became a 
favourite meeting-place for the members of naval friendly societies, 
and for parties of various kinds. In time and, strangely enough, 
at the instigation of a distinguished teetotaler the canteen was 
authorised to supply not only beer, but also all the liquors which are 
ordinarily provided at taverns, care being, of course, taken to supply 
them of good quality. The experiment, though bold, was in every 
way successful, and immensely increased the popularity and use- 
fulness of this admirable institution, which was obliged to add 
largely to its sleeping accommodation in 1887, and again in 1897. 


At the end of the century upwards of 100,000 men per annum lodged 
under its roof. Its influence in developing among bluejackets self- 
respect, esprit de corps, providence, and general culture has been 
most beneficial. Conversely, the ever-growing intelligence and 
good character of the men has enabled the managers of the Home 
gradually to broaden its scope and its rules without imperilling its 
orderliness and efficiency. 1 

Miss Agnes E. Weston's Eoyal Sailors' Eests at Devonport 
(established in 1873) and Portsmouth, have done equally good 
work, but are conducted on somewhat narrower lines. The long 
devotion of this excellent lady, and her assistant, Miss Wintz, to 
the interests of bluejackets and other seamen, has had a powerful 
influence in the promotion of the cause of temperance, besides being 
most beneficial in other directions. 

Another sign of the times was the establishment of the Koyal 
Naval Fund. The Eoyal Naval Exhibition held at Chelsea in 1891 
resulted in a profit of about 48,000. It was decided by the 
Committee to hand over this sum to trustees, who were instructed 
to devote the resultant income to the relief of widows, orphans, and 
other dependent relatives of seamen and Eoyal Marines dying in the 
service of the Crown. The Fund began work on January 1st, 1893, 
between which date and the end of the century it distributed 
10,523, by way of relief, to 1,305 persons. The capital on Decem- 
ber 31st, 1900, was 50,532. 

Until well on in the second half of the nineteenth century the 
lay public seems to have taken but little practical interest in the 
Eoyal Navy. It read with natural avidity the numerous exciting 
accounts of maritime discovery, and the few nautical novels, such 
as Smollett's ' Eoderick Eandom,' and John Moore's 'The Post- 
Captain,' which appeared during the eighteenth century ; and, in 
the earlier part of the nineteenth, it eagerly perused the stirring 
records of polar exploration, and the nautical novels of writers like 
Michael Scott, 2 James Fenimore Cooper, 3 Frederick Marryat, 4 
James Hannay, 5 and Frederic Chamier 6 ; but, upon the whole, it 

Forty-ninth Annual Report of the Eoyal Portsmouth Sailors' Home, 1900. 

2 Mich. Scott (1789-1835), author of ' Tom Cringle's Log,' aud ' The' Cruise of the 

3 Born 1789 ; d. 1851. From 1805 to 1811, Cooper was in the U.S. Navv. 

4 Born 1792 ; Com. B.N. 1815 ; Capt. 1825 ; d. 1847. 

3 Born 1827 ; d. 1873. From 1840 to 1845, Hannay served in the Navy 
6 Born 1796; Com. E.N. 1826; retd. capt. 1856; d. 1870. 


was content to accept the Navy as the traditional and invincible 
defender of the island empire, never questioning, nor even allowing 
itself to dream about, the fleet's permanent ability to do whatsoever 
work might be demanded of it. The truth is that the lay public 
generally regarded the Navy, nautical terminology, and naval men 
as mysteries which it could not hope to understand, and which 
certainly could not be benefited by the attentions or solicitude of 
landsmen. John Clerk, of Eldin, indeed, in the last quarter of the 
eighteenth century, offered a civilian's counsel to naval tacticians ; 
but he stood almost alone in his generation, and, for many years 
after his death, British laymen scarcely raised their voices or used 
their pens to make either criticisms or suggestions concerning the 
conduct of naval affairs. 

The last half of the nineteenth century witnessed a notable 
change in the popular attitude. Laymen were no longer satisfied 
to be told that all was well with the fleet, whereon, as they knew, 
so much depended. They began to take a practical interest in the 
Navy, and to see and enquire for themselves. The meagreness of 
the results attained by the Navy during the Russian war aroused 
them from their apathy ; Mr. Hans Busk's volume on ' The Navies 
of the World ' l rendered them uneasy as to the maritime position 
of their country ; the naval display at the Exhibition of 1862 
stimulated their curiosity with regard to the growing influence of 
scientific progress upon naval warfare. Then, in 1864, the Admiralty 
furthered the popular movement by transferring to South Kensington 
Museum, and throwing open to all, the collection of naval models 
which, since the first quarter of the century, had been gradually 
accumulated at Somerset House. Ten years afterwards the collection 
was moved to a still more suitable resting-place at Greenwich 
Hospital. Not without its effect, too, was the establishment, in 
1860, by Dr. William Howard Eussell, of the Army and Navy 
Gazette, a service periodical which, especially in the early years 
of its existence, was singularly able and outspoken, and which 
pertinaciously exposed many naval abuses and procured the granting 
of many naval reforms. 

Fifteen or sixteen years later, when Lord Charles Beresford, then 
a Commander, was member for Waterford, that active officer, in 
order to induce some of his brother legislators to examine into naval 
affairs, began a practice of occasionally inviting them to accompany 

1 London, 1859. 


him on a visit to Portsmouth Dockyard ; and he resumed this 
practice, with excellent results, whenever he subsequently held a 
seat in Parliament. 

Still, however, popular interest was not thoroughly awakened ; 
nor was it until 1884 that the British puhlic was induced to begin 
to take that intelligent and steadily growing interest in its fleet 
which, in the remaining sixteen years of the century, obliged 
successive governments, often against their will, to enlarge and 
improve the Navy, until it became more efficient than it had ever 
been before in time of peace. 

The work was begun by means of the publication, in the Pall 
Mall Gazette, of the remarkable series of articles 1 entitled "The 
Truth About the Navy " ; it was followed up, in 1885, by the 
exaction from the Admiralty of permission for the leading news- 
papers to depute correspondents to accompany the home fleets 
during their annual manoeuvres, which date from that year. In 
1888-89 the City of London, influenced not only by naval officers 
such as Sir Geoffrey T. P. Hornby and Lord Charles Beresford, but 
also by civilians, put forward demands for a stronger fleet, and had 
its way. In the interval the Jubilee naval review at Spithead, in 
1887, had exhibited to the people the weakness as well as the 
strength of the Navy ; and the lessons of the display had been 
interpreted to them by the numerous writers who, in the years 
immediately preceding it, had found means to make a special study 
of the subject, and to gain a hearing through the columns of the 
press. In 1888 had been made the first suggestions for a scheme 
which, a few years later, 2 resulted in the formation of the Navy 
League an organisation, mainly civilian in its constitution, pledged 
to do its utmost to secure naval efficiency and a fleet entirely 
adequate to the needs of the Empire. All this prepared the way 
for the holding at Chelsea in 1891 of the extraordinarily successful 
and immensely instructive Koyal Naval Exhibition, under the 
patronage of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, the presidency of 
H.E.H. the Prince of Wales, Honorary Admiral of the Fleet, the 
executive direction of Admiral Sir William Montagu Dowell, K.C.B., 
and the honorary secretaryship of Captain Alfred Jephson, 3 who 
was rewarded for the efficacy of his work with a knighthood. 
The Exhibition, which was open to the public on 151 days, was 

1 Attributed to Mr. W. T. Stead. - In 1894. 

3 Com. ]{,N. 1873 ; retd. as capt. 1889. 




(From a photo by Lafai/ctte, tnkcit when H.R.H. was a Cajitiiin.) 

[To face p. 83. 


visited by 2,351,083 people, 1 and was, undoubtedly, of the highest 
educational value. 

In the same year the present writer had the pleasure of making 
public ' a suggestion which led, in 1893, to the foundation of the 
Navy Kecords Society a society for the printing of documents and 
papers connected with naval history, biography, and archaeology, 
much of the success of which has been due to the devotion of its 
secretary and editor, Professor John Knox Laughton. 3 And in 
1895, when, after the heavy expenditure which had been authorised 
by the Naval Defence Act of 1889, it appeared that the effort to 
raise the Navy to an adequate point of strength was to be allowed 
to flag, popular opinion so quickly and markedly responded to a 
demand * for additional ships and men, that the government at once 
increased the ordinary estimates to an amount about 3,000,000 in 
excess of what they had ever before been in peace time, and never 
afterwards, until the end of the century, suffered them to fall below 
the level to which they then attained. Popular and civilian interest 
in the Navy, thus gradually aroused, remains an important factor 
in the policy of the Admiralty until to-day. 

The Jubilee naval review, which has been already alluded to, 
was held on July 23rd, 1887. The total number of vessels in line, 
apart from yachts, troopships, tugs, etc., was 109, of which twenty- 
six were ironclads. The senior officer afloat 011 that occasion was 
Admiral Sir George Ommanney Willes, Commander-in-Chief at 
Portsmouth, who flew his flag in the battleship Inflexible. 

A yet more impressive review was held at Spithead on August 
6th, 1889, when His Majesty William II., German Emperor, 6 
visited Spithead with a detachment of his own fleet in order to be 
present. The number of British men-of-war in line on that day 
was again 109, but of them no fewer than thirty-five were 
ironclads. The officer then in command was Admiral Sir John 
Edmund Commerell, V.C., Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth. 
H.K.H. Prince George of Wales, 6 as a Lieutenant, was in com- 

1 Official Report to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, May 13, 1892. 

2 A. and N. Gazette, July 4, 1891, and subseq. corr. in the Times. 

3 Born 1830 ; Nav. Inst. R.N. 1853 ; prof, of mod. hist, at King's Coil., Lond. 

* Made in a series of articles on " The Needs of the Navy," by the author (anony- 
mously), in the Daily Uraphic. 

5 Hon. Adm. of the Fleet, Aug. 2, 1889. 

6 Entered K.N. June 5, 1877; Mids. Jan. 8, 1880; Sub-Lieut. June 3, 1884: 
Lieut. Oct. 8, 1885 ; Com. Aug. 24, 1891 ; Capt. Jan. 2, 1893 ; R. Adm. Jan. 1, 1901. 
Served actively at sea in each rank. 

G 2 


mand then, and during the subsequent manoeuvres, of torpedo- 
boat No. 79. 

Very much more impressive still was the last great review of 
the reign, on June 26th, 1897, to commemorate the sixtieth anni- 
versary of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's accession. Numerous 
foreign men-of-war were present in honour of the event, and the 
number of British ships in line that day was as many as 164. 
There were somewhat fewer ironclads than in 1889 ; but, on the 
other hand, whereas the fleet of 1889 contained numerous obsolete 
craft such as could scarcely have been employed actively in war 
time, the fleet of 1897 was composed, with very few exceptions, of 
modern vessels in the highest state of efficiency. At the end of the 
day H.E.H. the Prince of Wales, Honorary Admiral of the Fleet, 1 
genially desired Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon, V.C., Commander-in- 
Chief, to order the main-brace to be spliced. About 35,000 officers 
and men manned the British men-of-war present at that final and 
most magnificent of the naval reviews of the century ; and American, 
German, Eussian, Spanish, French, Austrian, Swedish, Norwegian, 
Japanese, and Siamese men-of-war attended to witness it, and to do 
honour to the aged sovereign of Great Britain. 

1 July 18, 1887. 


(Similar medals, with altered dates, mre granted for lair 
Silver : ribbon of blue and white stripes. 


IN continuation of the lists given in Vol. VI. pp. 223-226, the 
following roll of the naval officers who held the principal commands 
at home and abroad from the beginning of 1857 until the end of 
the reign of Queen Victoria will be found useful for purposes of 
reference in connection with the history of the period : 


Sir George Francis Sey- 
mour, K.C.B., Vice-Adm. 

(Adm. May 14, 1857). 
Mar. 1, 1859. William Bowles, C.B., 

Mar. 1, 1860. Henry William Bruce, V.- 

Adm. (K.C.B. 1861). 
Mar. 1, 1863. Sir Michael Seymour (2), 

G.C.B., V.-Adm. (Adm. 

Mar. 5, 1864). 
Mar. 1, 1866. Sir Thomas Sabine Pasley, 

Bart., V.-Adm. (Adm. 

Nov. 20, 1866). 
Feb. 25, 1869. Sir James Hope, G.C.B., 

V.-Adm. (Adm. Jan. 21, 

Mar. 1, 1872. Sir George Rodney Mundy, 

K.C.B., Adm. 
Mar. 1, 1875. Sir George Elliot (4), 

K.C.B., Adm. 
Mar. 1, 1878. Edward Gennys Fan- 

shawe, C.B., Adm. 
Nov. 27, 1879. Alfred Phillipps Kyder, 

Nov. 28, 1882. Sir Geoffrey Thomas 

Phipps Hornby, K.C.B., 

Nov. 28, 1885. Sir George Ornrnanney 

Willes, K.C.B., Adm. 
June 20, 1888. Sir John Edmund Com- 

merell, V.C., G.C.B., 


June 22, 1891. Kichard James, 4th Earl 
of Clanwilliam, K.C.B., 
K.C.M.G., Adm. 

June 22, 1894. Sir Nowell Salmon, V.C., 
K.U.B., Adm. 

Aug. 3, 1897. Sir Michael Culme-Sey- 
mour, Bart., G.C.B., 

Oct. 3, 1900. Sir Charles Frederick 
Hotham, K.C.B., Adm. 


Sir William Parker (2), 

Bart., G.C.B., Adm. 
May 4, 1857. Sir Barrington Reynolds, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. (Adm. 

Nov. 1, 1860). 
June 8, 1860. Sir Arthur Fanshawe, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. 
Oct. 11, I860. Sir Houston Stewart, 

K.O.B., V.-Adm. (Adm. 

Nov. 10, 1862). 
Oct. 27, 1863. Sir Charles Howe Fre- 

mautle, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

(Adm. Feb. 9, 1864). 
Oct. 26, Io66. Sir William Fanshawe 

Martin, Bart., K.C.B., 

Nov. 1, 1869. Sir Henry John Codring- 

ton, G.C.B., Adm. 
Nov. 1, 1872. Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, 

G.C.B., Adm. 



Nov. 1, 1875. Sir Thomas Matthew 
Charles Symonds, 
K.C.B., Adm. 

Nov. 1, 1878. Arthur Parquhar (2), 

Jan. 9, 1880. Hon. Sir Charles Gilbert 
John Brydone Elliot, 
K.C.B., Adm. 

Dec. 1, 1881. Sir William Houston 
Stewart, K.C.B., Adra. 

Dec. 1, 1884. Sir Augustus Phillimore, 
K.C.B., Adm. 

May 25, 1887. Rt. Hon. Lord John Hay 
(3), G.C.E., Adm. 

Dec. 15, 1888. Sir William Montagu 
Dowell, K.O.B., Adm. 

Aug. 4, 1890. H.R.H. the Duke of Edin- 
burgh, K.G., Adm. 

June 2, 1898. Sir Algernon McLennan 
Lyons, K.C.B., Adm. 

June 10, 1896. Hon. Sir Edmund Robert 
Fremantle, K.C.B., 
C.M.G., Adm. 

3899. Sir Henry Fairfax, K.C.B., 

Mar. 28, 1900. Lord Charles Thomas 
Montagu Douglas Scott, 
K.C.B., Adm. 


Hon. William Gordon (2), 

July 1, 1857. Edward Harvey, V.-Adm. 
(Adm. June 9, 1860). 

June 28, 1860. Sir William James Hope 
Johnstone, K.C.B., V.- 

June 25, 1863. Sir George Robert Lam- 
bert, G.C.B., V.-Adm. 
(Adm. Dec. 15, 1863). 

Feb. 14, 1876. Henry Chads, V.-Adm. 
Sept, 17, 1877. Sir William King Hall, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Aug. 4, 1879. Sir Reginald John James 
George Macdonald, 
K.C.B., K. C.S.I., V.- 
July 21, 1882. Edward Bridges Rice, C.B., 


Oct. 30, 1884. John Corbett, C.B., V.- 
Adm. (Adm. Apr. 7, 

July 1, 1885. H.S.H. Ernest L. V. C. A. 
J. E., Prince of Lein- 
ingen, G.C.B., V.-Adm. 
July 1, 1887. Charles Ludovic Darley 

Waddilove, V.-Adm. 
July 2, 1888. Thomas Bridgeman Leth- 

bridge, V.-Adm. 
Aug. 4, 1890. Charles Thomas Curme, 


Feb. 27, 1892. Sir Algernon Charles 
Fieschi Heneage, K.C.B., 

Dec. 10, 1894. Richard Wells, V.-Adm. 
June 10, 1896. Sir Henry Frederick 
Nicholson, K.C.B., V.- 
Adm. (Adm. Sept. 16, 

Dec. 10, 1897. Sir Charles Frederick 
Hotham, K.C.B., V.- 

July 13, 1899. Sir Nathaniel Bowden- 
Smith, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 


Edmund, Lord Lyons, 
Bart., G.C.B., R.-Adm. 
(V.-Adm. Mar. 19, 

Mar. 1, 1864. Sir Charles Talbot, K.C.B., j Feb. 22, 1858. Arthur 'panshawe C.B. 

Apr. 5, 1866. Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, 

Bart., K.C.B., V.-Adm. 
Apr. 5, 1869. Richard Laird Warren, 

V.-Adm. (Adm. Apr. 1, 

July 1, 1870. Hon. Charles Gilbert John 

Brydone Elliot, C.B., 


Feb. 11, 1873. Hon. George Fowler Has- 
tings, C.B., V.-Adm. 


Apr. 19, 1860. Sir William Fanshawe 
Martin, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Apr. 20, 1863. Robert Smart, K.H., V.- 

Apr. 28, 1866. Rt. Hon. Lord Clarence 
Edward Paget, C.B., V.- 

Apr. 28, 1869. Sir Alexander Milne, 
K.C.B., V.-Adm. (Adm. 
Apr. 1, 1870). 



Oct. 25, 1870. Sir Hastings Reginald Apr. 1, 1878. Sir Edward Augustus 

Yelverton, K.C.B., V.- 

Jan. 13, 1874. Hon. Sir James Robert 
Drummond, K.C.B., V.- 

Jan. 15, 1877. Geoffrey Thomas Phipps 
Hornby, V.-Adm. (Adm. 
June 15, 1879). 

Feb. 5, 1880. Sir Frederick Beauchamp 
Paget Seymour, G.C.B., 
V.-Adm. (Adm. May 6, 
1882 : Lord Alcester, 

Feb. 7, 1883. Rt. Hon. Lord John 
Hay (3), K.C.B., V.- 
Adm. (Adm. July 8, 

Feb. 5, 1886. H.R.H. the Duke of 
Edinburgh, K.G., V.- 
Adm. (Adm. Oct. 18, 

Mar. 11, 1889. Sir Anthony Hiley Hos- 
kins, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 
(Adm. June 20, 1891). 

Aug. 20, 18!) 1. Sir George Tryon, K.C.B. 
(drowned June22, 1893). 

June 29, 1893. Sir Michael Culme-Sey- 
mour, Bart., Adm. 

Nov. 10, 1896. Sir John Ommanney Hop- 
kins, K.C.B., Adm. 

July 1, 189!). Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher, 
K.C.B., V.-Adm. 


Sir Houston Stewart, 

G.C.B., V.-Adm. 
Jan. 13, 1860. Sir Alexander Milne, 

K.C.B., R.-Aclm. 
Jan. 7, 1864. Sir James Hope, K.C.B., 

Jan. 10, 1867. Sir George Rodney Mundy, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. (Adm. 

May 26, 1869). 
June 30, 1861). George Greville Wellesley, 

C.B., V.-Adm. 
Sept. 13, 1870. Edward Gennys Fanshawe, 

C.B., V.-Adm. 
Sept. 9, 187:;. George Greville Wellesley, 

C.B., V.-Adm. 
Dec. 22, 1875. Sir Astley Cooper Key, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Inglefield, Kt, C.B., V.- 

Nov. 27, 1879. Sir Francis Leopold 
M'Clintock, Kt., V.- 

Nov. 7, 1882. Sir John Edmund Com- 
merell, K.C.B., V.C., V.- 

Aug. 25, 1885. Richard James, 4th Earl of 
Clanwilliam, K.C.B., 
K.C.M.G., V.-Adm. 

Sept. 4, 1886. Algernon McLennon Lyons, 

Dec. 15, 1888. George Willes Watson, 

Dec. 15, 1891. John Ommanney Hopkins, 
V.-Adm. (K.C.B. 1892). 

Apr. 17, 1895. James ElphinstoneErskine, 

Sept. 15, 1897. Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher, 
K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

May 1, 1899. Sir Frederick George Den- 
ham Bedford, K.C.B. 


Henry William Bruce, R. 

July 8, 1857. Robert Lambert Baynes, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

May 5, 1860. Sir Thomas Maitland, Kt., 
C.B., R.-Ad. 

Oct. 31, 1862. John Kingcome, R.-Adm. 

May 10, 1864. Hon. Joseph Deuman, R.- 

Nov. 21, 1866. Hon. George Fowler Hast- 
ings, C.B., R.-Adm. 

Nov. 1, 1869. Arthur Farquhar, R.-Adm. 

July 9, 1872. Charles Farrel Hillyar, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

June 6, 1873. Hon. Arthur Auckland 
Leopold Pedro Coch- 
rane, C.B. 

Apr. 15, 1876. George Hancock, R.-Adm. 
(d. Sept. 20). 

Aug. 6, 1876. Algernon Frederick Rous 
de Horsey, R.-Adm. 

July 21, 1879. Frederick Henry Stirling, 

Dec. 10, 1881. Algernon McLennan 
Lyons, R.-Adm. 



Sept. 13, 1884. John Kennedy Erskine 

Baird, R.-Adm. 
July 4, 1885. Sir Michael Culme-Sey- 

mour, Bart., R.-Adm. 
Sept. 20, 1887. Algernon Charles Fieschi 

Heneage, R.-Adm. 
Feb. 4, 1890. Charles Frederick Hot 

ham, C.B., R.Adm. 

May 4, 1893. Henry Frederick Stephen- 
son, C.B., R.Adm. 
June 19, 1896. Henry St. Leger Bury 

Palliser, R.-Adm. 
June 22, 1899. Lewis Anthony Beaumont, 


Oct. 15, 1900. Andrew Kennedy Bick- 
ford, C.M.G., R.-Adm. 


Sir Michael Seymour (2), 

K.C.B., R.-Adra. 

Jan. 25, 1859. James Hope, C.B., R.- 
Feb. 8, 1862. Augustus Leopold Kuper, 

C.B., R.-Adm. 

Feb. 15, 1864. George St. Vincent Duck- 
worth King, C.B., R.- 

(On Jan. 17, 1865, the stations were 


Jan. 17, 1865. George St. Vincent Duck- 
worth King, C.B., R.- 
Jan. 18, 1867. Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. 
July 17, 1869. Sir Henry Kellett, K.C B 


Aug. 30, 1871. Charles Frederick Alex- 
ander Shadwell, C.B., 
Aug. 31, 1874. Alfred Phillipps Ryder 

Aug. 31, 1877. Charles Fajrel Hillyar 

C.B., V.-Adm. 

Sept. 26, 1878. Robert Coote, C.B., V.- 

Jan. 3, 1881. Sir George Ommanney 

Willes, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Jan. 3, 1884. Sir William Montagu 

Dowell, K.C.B., V.- 


Sept. 1, 1885. Sir Richard Vesey Hamil- 
ton, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Dec. 17, 1887. Sir Nowell Salmon, K.C.B., 
V.C., V.-Adm. 

Nov. 29, 1890. Sir Frederick William 
Richards, K.C.B., V.- 

Feb. 16, 1892. Hon. Sir Edmund Robert 
Fremautle, K.C.B., 
C.M.G., V.-Adm. 

May 28, 1895. Sir Alexander Buller, 
K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

Feb. 19, 1898. Sir Edward Hobart Sey- 
mour, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 


Jan. 17, 1865. Frederick Byng Montre- 

sor, Commod. 
Sept. 26, 1865. Charles Farrel Hillyar, 

July 29, 1867. Sir Leopold George Heath, 

K.C.B., Commod. 

Sept. 6, 1870. James Horsford Cockburn, 
R.-Adm. (died Feb. 2, 
Feb. 14, 1872. Arthur Gumming, C.B., 


Mar. 4, 1875. Reginald John James 
George Macdonald, R.- 

Apr. 2, 1877. John Corbett, C.B., R.- 
Aug. 4, 1879. William Gore Jones, C.B., 


Apr. 11, 1882. Sir William Nathan 
Wrighte Hewett.K.C.B., 
K.C.S.L.V.C., R.-Adm. 
May 18, 1885. Sir Frederick William 
Richards, K.C.B., R.- 

Feb. 25, 1888. Hon. Sir Edmund Robert 
Fremantle, K.C.B., 
C.M.G., R.-Adm. 
Feb. 26, 1891. Frederick Charles Bryan 

Robinson, R.-Adm. 
Jan. 26, 1892. William Robert Kennedy 

Mar. 1(5, 1895. Kdmund Charles Drum- 

mond, R.-Adm. 

Jan. 15, 1898. Archibald Lucius Doug- 
las, R.-Adm. 

June 5, 1899. Day Hort Bosanquet, R.- 




(Established as such in 1858, but even 
later occasionally called a Particular 
Service S<juadron.') 

July 13, 1858. Sir Charles Howe Fre- 

mantle, K.C.B., E.Adm. 
June '-, 1859. John Elphinstone Erskine, 

Jan. 29, 1861. Robert Smart, K.H., R.- 

Apr. 24, 1863. Sydney Colpoys Dacres, 

June ,1866. Hastings Reginald Yelver- 

ton, E.-Adm. 
May 1, 1867. Frederick Warden, C.B., 


Apr. 17, 1888. John Kennedy Erskine 
Baird, V.-Adm. 

May 3, 1890. Sir Michael Culme-Sey- 
mour, Bart., V.-Adm. 

May 10, 1892. Henry Fairfax, C.B., V.- 

May 27, 1895. Lord Walter Talbot Kerr, 

June 7, 1897. Sir Henry Frederick 
Stephenson, K.C.B., 

Dec. 20, 1898. Sir Harry Holds-worth Raw- 
son, K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

(Established as a separate station, 1859.) 

Dec. 12, 1868. Sir Thomas Matthew Mar. 26, 1859. William Loring, C.B., 
Charles Symonds, Commod. 

K.C.B., V.-Adm. 

July 18, 1870. Sir Hastings Reginald 
Yelverton, K.C.B., V.- 

Oct. 25, 1870. George Greville Wellesley, 
C.B., V.-Adm. 

Sept. 2, 1871. Geoffrey Thomas Phipps 
Hornby, E.-Adm., (V.- 
Adm. Jan. 1, 1875). 

Oct. 1, 1874. Frederick Beauchamp 
Paget Seymour, C.B., 
R.-Adm. (V.-Adm. Dec. 
31, 1876). 

Nov. 10, 1877. Rt. Hon. Lord John Hay 
(3), C.B., R.-Adm. (V.- 
Adm. Dec. 31, 1877). 

Dec. 10, 1879. Arthur William Acland 
Hood, C.B., R.-Adm. 
(V.-Adm. July 23, 

Apr. 17, 1882. Sir William Montagu 
Dowell, K.C.B., V.- 

Dec. 3, 1883. H.E.H. the Duke of Edin- 
burgh, K.G., V.-Adm. 

Dec. , 1884. Algernon Frederick Rous 
de Horsey, V.-Adm. 

May , 1885. Charles Fellowes, C.B., V.- 
Adm. (died in com.). 

Mar. 18, 1886. Sir William Nathan 
Wrighte Hewett, K.C.B., 
K.C.S.I., V.C., V.-Adin. 

Mar. 10, 1860. Frederick Beauchamp 
Paget Seymour, Corn- 

July 21,1862. William Farquharson Bur- 
nett, C.B., Commod. 
(loot in the Orpheus, 
Feb. 7, 1863). 

Apr. 20, 1863. Sir William Saltonstall 
Wiseman, Bart., C.B., 

May 23, 1866. Rochfort Maguire, Com- 
mod. (died in com.}. 

May 28, 1867. Rowley Lambert, C.B., 

Apr. 8, 1870. Frederick Henry Stirling, 

May 22, 1873. James Graham Good- 
enough, C.B., C.M.G., 
Commod. (died in com.). 

Sept. 7, 1875. Anthony Hiley Hoskins, 
C.B., Commod. 

Sept. 12, 1878. John Crawford Wilson, 

Jan. 21, 1882. James Elphinstone Ers- 
kine, Commod. 

Nov. 12, 1884. George Tryon, C.B., R.- 

Feb. 1, 1887. Henry Fairfax, C.B., R.- 

Sept. 10, 1889. Lord Charles Thomas 
Montagu Douglas Scott, 
C.B., R.-Adm. 

From that time the officer was a Com.-in-Chief. 


M-l'KXDIX: VOMMANDE11S-IN-CHIEF, 1857-1900. 

Sept. 12, 1892. Nathaniel Bowden-Smith, Sept. 9, 18C7. William Montagu Dowell, 
R.-Adm. C.B., Commod. 

Nov. 1, 1894. Cyprian Arthur George 
Bridge, R.-Adm. 

Nov. 1, 1897. Hugo Lewis Pearson, 1!.- 

Oct. 1, 1900. Lewis Anthony Beaumont, 


Feb. 16, 1861. Sir John Edmund Com- 
merell, K.C.B., V.C., 

Oct. 2, 1873. Sir William Nathan 
Wrighte He wett, K.C.B., 
V.C., Commod. 

Oct. 16, 1876. Francis William Sullivan, 
C.B., C.M.G., Commod. 

Mar. 17, 1879. Sir Frederick William 

Richards, K.C.B., Corn- 
Apr. 1,1857. Hon. Sir Frederick Wil- j ,, ,. ,, 

Apr. 11, 1882. Nowell Salmon, C.B., VC. 
ham Grey, K.C.B., H.- TJ.AJ* 

A din. 

Feb. 10, 1860. Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, 
K.C.B., H.-Adm. 

Feb. 6,1861. Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, 
Bart., K.C.B., R.-Adm. 

(In 1864-65 the Cape was attached to 
the East Indies command, Irut in the 
latter year it again became inde- 
pendent under a Commodore, there 
being, however, another independent 
Commodore on the West Count. The 
oJd command was restored in 1867.) 

Mar. 6, 1885. Sir Walter James Hunt- 
Grubbe, K.C.B., R.- 

Mar. 29, 1888. Richard Wells, R.-Adm. 

Sept. 1, 1890. Henry Frederick Nichol- 
son, C.B., R.-Adm. 

Aug. 10, 1892. Frederick George Denham 
Bedford, C.B., R.-Adm. 

May 4, 1895. Harry Holdsworth Raw- 
son, C.B., R.-Adm. 

Apr. L'7, 1898. Sir Robert Hastings Har- 
ris, K.C.M.G., R.-Adni. 

* from that time the officer was a Com.-in-Chief. 







THE SECOND CHINA WAR Case of the Arrow Seizure of the Canton Ports Bombard- 
ment of Canton Capture of French Folly Capture of other forts The Sampson 
near Hongkong Destruction of junks Loss of the Raleigh Despatch of troops 
to China The action ia Escape Creek Affair in the Sawshee Channel Action in 
Fatshan Creek Chinese pirates French co-operation Naval reinforcements 
diverted to India Blockade of the Canton River Affair of the Banterer's gig 
Bombardment and capture of Canton Capture of Commissioner Yeh Bombard- 
ment and capture of the Taku forts Occupation of Tientsin A treaty signed 
Withdrawal of the Allies New difficulties and outrages Capture of Namtao 
Expedition up the Yang-tse-kiang The Nankin batteries engaged Affairs with 
junks Arrival of Rear-Admiral Hope The Allies repulsed in the Peiho Josiah 
Tatnall Loss of three vessels New reinforcements Disembarkation at Pehtang 
The Peiho forts taken The Treaty of Pekin Minor operations The Persian 
War The Pearl and Vivanco's Navy THE INDIAN MUTINY The Shannon's 
Brigade Battle of Kudj\va Relief of Lucknow Fighting near Cawnpur 
Action at Kallee-Nuddee Retaking of Lucknow Death of Sir William Peel 
The Pearl's Brigade Action at Amorha Numerous engagements Relief of 
Banseo Rebels repulsed at Amorha Action at Doomureahgunge Final opera- 
tions The Atlantic cables Wise in the Scarcies River, 1858-59 Troubles at 
Jeddah, 1858 Walker the Filibuster Affairs in Mexico, 1859-61-zf^jsit of 
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Canada-T^THE TI-MNG REBELLION British 
neutrality professed Repulse of Ti-pings at Shanghai, 1860 Activity of Dew 
Hope's demands Action at Kao-Kiau Capture of Kah-ding, 1862 Death of 
Prottt Massacre at Cho-lin Dew at Ningpo Montgomerie at Soong-kong 
Sherard Osborn's flotilla Dew at Shou-sing Arrival of Rear-Admiral Kuper 
Second capture of Kah-ding Chinese piracy THE NEW ZEALAND WAR, 1860-64 
Storming of Omata Policy of Sir George Grey Attack on Rangariri British 
repulse at the Gate Pah Concluding operations The Niger expeditions, 1861 
Burning of Porto Novo The Gambia expedition, 1861 Capture of Saba Opera- 
tions against Quiah Fishery disputes The slave trade. Minor operations, 1862-63 
DIFFICULTIES IN JAPAN Outrage near Kanagawa Bombardment of Kagosima, 
1863 Effect of Kuper's action Conduct of Choshiu The Strait of Simonoseki 
forced, 1864 apture of the batteries Subsequent events in Japan Niger 
expeditions, 1864-65-66 Richards at Akatoo Operations against slavers The 
Doce in Formosa Chinese pirates Morant off Pyramid Point Successes of 
St. John '\'\i-BulIdog at Cape Haytien The Jamaica rebellion The Highflyer 
at El Kateef-C-The Fenians in Canada, 1865 Jl^-The Cretan disturbances, 1865-67 
Chinese piracy Minor affairs Spithead review of 1867 The Abyssinian 
expedition, 1868 Capture of Magdala Domvile and Chinese pirates Outrages 
at Yangchow and in Formosa Gallantry of Gurdon Punishment of the Coochi 


pirates Hewa shelled Minor operations in 1868 Affairs at Bahrein Jones near 
Swatow The East African slave trade The Niger expedition of 1869 Pirates in 
the Gulf of Tonquin Honour to Peabody The Bermuda Dock Seymour in the 
Congo Robinson at Selangor, 1871 The cruise of the Itosario The Basilisk 
in the Pacific The Nassau at Carang-Carang Slavers and pirates, 1871-73 
The San Juan difficulty Bombardment of Omoa, 1873 Woollcombe in the 
Larut River The Viryinius affair Yelverton and the Intransigente squadron, 
1873 THE ASHANTEE WAU -Bombardment of Elmina Bombardment of 
Aquidah Disaster off Chamah Destruction of Chamah Capture of Essaman 
Affair at Ampenee Bootry shelled Relief of Abrakrampa Arrival of Hewett 
Advance to Prahsu Bradshaw at the mouth of the Prah Battle of Amoaful 
Action at Becquah and Ordah-su Capture of Coomassie Honours and pro- 
motions Inspection by the Queen Foot off Madagascar Sulivan at Mombasa 
Affair at Tangata Work of the Thetis and the Flying Fish Cruise of the 
Sandfly Cruise of the Pearl Death of Goodenough TROUBLES IN THE MALAY 
PENINSULA The Avon on the Perak coast Demonstration against Selangor 
The Charybdis and Avon in the Lingie River Expedition to the Indau River 
Intervention in Sunjei Ujong Flight of the Bandar Murder of Mr. Birch 
Stirling in Sunjei Ujong The Perak Field Force The Larut Field Force Affair 
at Kotah Lamah Close of the Malay campaign Hewett in the Congo, 1875 
Troubles at Oman and Muscat Ward at Barawa Cruise of the Dido, 1871-76 
British interference at Samoa Captain Stevens Murray at Apia Hewett in the 
!Niger Bombardment of Sabogrega Difficulties with Dahomey Submission of 
Gelele Purvis in the Niger Destruction of Emblana Keppel in the Congo 
The Socket and the case of the George Wright Action of the Shah and the 
Amethyst with the Huascar Activity against slavers The Vulture at El Katif 
The Russo-Turkish War Hornby in the Mediterranean Passage of the Dar- 
danelles Commerell at Gallipoli The Channel Squadron in the Mediterranean 
The Swiftsure's pinnace fired upon The Ttmnderer gun explosion The occupa- 
tion of Cyprus Activity of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh TROUBLES IN SOUTH 
AFRICA, 1877-79 Action at Quintana The Active's Brigade The Tenedos's 
Brigade Action on the Inyezane River Promptitude of Bradshaw The Boa- 
dicea's Brigade Battle of Gingiuhlovo End of the Zulu War Caffin at Tanna 
Continued activity of the London's boats The Sitka Indians Outrages in the 
Pacific The Boxer's commission Burr in the Scarcies and the Niger The 
Kestrel and the Encounter on the Malay coast Loss of the Eurydice and the 
Atalanta The Dulcigno Demonstration The Wild Swan in Conducia Bay 
The Boer Rebellion Laing's Nek Majuba Hill Loss of the Doterel Diffi- 
culties in Egypt BOMBARDMENT OF ALEXANDRIA Occupation of the City The 
armoured train Arrival of the Channel Squadron The Marine battalions 
Hewett at Suez Affair at Mallaha Junction The change of Base Seizure of the 
Canal Fairfax at Port Said FitzRoy at Ismailia and Nefiche Hastings at 
Chalouf Tel el Mahuta Kassassin The Marines at Tel el Kebir Collapse of 
Arabi's rebellion Johnstone at Tamatave Brooke in the Niger WAR WITH THE 
MAHDI Occupation of Suakin Battle of El Teb Battle of Tamai Usefulness 
of the Marines The Gordon Relief Expedition Abu Klea Abu Kru Metem- 

meh Beresford at Wad Habeshi Gallantry of Benbow The river column 

Abandonment of the expedition The second Suakin expedition Action at Tofrik 

Affairs near Tamai Defence of Suakin Fatal mistake in the river Min 

Operations at Zeila and on the Gold Coast THE CONQUEST OF BURMAH 
Surrender of Mandalay Expedition to Bhamo Repression of dacoity The 
Greek Blockade Hand in the Niger The East Alrican Slave-trade Death of 
Brownrigg Heroism of Lieutenant Fegen The Sanyer at Suweik The Zephyr 
in Darvel Bay The Yonnie Expedition Affairs at Suakin Action at Gemaizeh 

1856.] THE " ARROW" AFFAIR. 93 

The Zanzibar Blockade Death of Myles Cooper The slave-trade Sinking of 
the Sultan The Sandfly affair The Hurricane at Samoa The Vitu Expedition 

The opening of the Zambesi The Ramjet's Brigade in Somaliland Loss of the 
Serpent Operations against Osman Digna The Chilian Revolution Expeditions 
against Fodeh Cabbah Tambi and Toniatuba taken Lindley in Wituland 
The Lamu Forest Expedition Scullard at Kismayu Lewes at Kismayu 
Henderson at Kismayu Operations in the Shire and on Lake Nyassa Minor 
affairs of 1893 Loss of the Victoria Punishment of Fodeh Sillah Two expe- 
ditions aaainst Brohemie The Cleopatra at Bluefields The Archer at Seoul 
Bedford in the Brass River Expeditions against M'buruk of M'wele Occupation 
of Corinto Operations against Prempeh The Particular Service Squadron of 
1896 Bombardment of Zanzibar Colville at Dongola The Benin Expedition 
The troubles in Crete -The Hazard at Candia The Re-conquest of the Soudan, 
1897-99 Fashoda Operations in North Borneo Occupation of Wei-hai-Wei 
The Revolt in Sierra Leone Burr at Bluefields Hostilities in Samoa The Sphinx 
at Linga The Leander at Panama The Magicienne at Kismayu THE WAR 

first China War, 1839-42, had not taught the lessons 
which it was designed to teach ; and within a few years of 
its conclusion new difficulties began to arise between the British 
and the local authorities in various parts of the huge invertebrate 
empire. For a time these were arranged as they arose, without 
resort to war ; but they were arranged, unfortunately, in a manner 
which too often allowed the Chinese to remain in the belief that 
they had won diplomatic triumphs. The result was that both 
locally and at the capitals, the governing classes became steadily 
more and more inattentive to British remonstrances concerning acts 
of aggression, until, in 1856, the affair of the Arrow, and the vigorous 
action of Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour (2), Commander-in- 
Chief in the East Indies, brought about the second China War, 
which lasted, with intermissions, for nearly four years. 

The causes of the fresh outbreak of hostilities * are set forth in a 
dispatch which was sent by Seymour to the Admiralty on November 
14th, 1856 ; and they may be thus summarised. 

On October 8th, 1856, the lorcha Arrow, with a colonial register 
from the governor of Hong Kong, was boarded, while at anchor at 
Canton, by a Chinese officer and a party of soldiers, who, notwith- 
standing the protest of the English master, seized twelve of the 
crew, bound them, carried them off, and hauled down the British 
flag. Mr. Parkes, her Majesty's consul, brought the matter before 
the Imperial High Commissioner, Yeh, and demanded the return of 
the twelve men by the officer who had abducted them, together with 

1 Perhaps the best account of the origin and early part of the Second Chinese War 
is in G. C. Cooke's ' China,' which has been freely made use of. 


an apology, and an assurance that the flag should be respected in 
the future. Ultimately the men were sent back, but not in the 
public manner required ; nor was any apology or assurance offered. 
On October llth, the matter was reported to Seymour by Sir John 
Bowring, British Plenipotentiary in China, who suggested that an 
Imperial junk should be seized by way of reprisals. The making of 
the seizure was entrusted to Commodore the Hon. Charles Gilbert 
John Brydone Elliot, C.B., of the Sibylle, 40, senior officer in the 
Canton river, who was reinforced for the purpose with the 
Barracouta, 6, paddle, Commander Thomas Dyke Acland Fortescue, 1 
and the Coromandel, steam tender. A junk was duly captured, but, 
as it proved to be private property, it had to be presently released. 
Seymour then 2 sent the Encounter, 14, screw, Captain George 
William Douglas O'Callaghan, and Samson, 6, paddle, Captain 
George Sumner Hand, to join the Commodore, hoping that the 
display of force in the river would bring the High Commissioner to 
reason. It soon, however, became clear that that official was bent 
upon resistance. 

In the meantime, Mr. Parkes proceeded to consult with Seymour 
and Bowring at Hong Kong, where it was decided to seize the ' 
defences of Canton, it being evident that any more moderate 
measures would, as usual, be interpreted by the Chinese as symptoms 
of weakness. Seymour accordingly moved his flagship, the Calcutta, 
84, Captain William King Hall, C.B., as high above the Bogue Forts 
as her draft would permit; and, on the morning of October 23rd, 
proceeded towards Canton in the Coromandel, accompanied by the 
Samson and Barracouta, with detachments of Eoyal Marines, and 
boats' crews, from the Calcutta, Winchester, 50, Captain Thomas 
Wilson, and Bittern, 3 12, and with the Commodore and the boats of 
the Sibylle. On approaching Blenheim reach, the Samson and part 
of the force diverged up the Macao passage to keep that channel 
open, and to capture Blenheim fort, while the Kear-Admiral, with 
the Coromandel and Barracouta, went on, and anchored above the 
four Barrier Forts, about five miles below the city. The boats, being 
sent in, took possession of the works, two of which fired ere they 
were taken, and consequently suffered a slight loss. In the forts 
" were about 150 guns, from one foot bore 4 to four pounders." 

1 Posted, Sept. 7th, 1857. 2 Oct. 18th. 

3 She had been condemned, and had been for some time awaiting sale. 

4 This was a brass gun. Journal of Capt. J. S. Hand. 


The Barracouta was ordered to follow the Samson ; and the 
Commander-in-Chief, having dismantled and burnt the forts, con- 
tinued his route to Canton, off which he arrived at 2 P.M., and where 
he learnt that boats from the Samson and Barracouta had quietly 
occupied the Blenheim Fort, and also the Macao Fort, a strong 
island position mounting 86 guns. 

Mr. Parkes formally announced Seymour's arrival to the High 
Commissioner, and explained not only what had been done, but also 
that further measures of like nature would be adopted unless repara- 
tion should be forthcoming. The High Commissioner chose to 
remain obdurate. 

On the morning of October 24th, Sir Michael landed additional 
Marines to aid detachments which were already ashore in Ganton 
from the Sibylle and Encounter for the protection of the factory ; 
and he himself went in the Coromandel to join the Barracouta off 
Macao Fort. Upon a preconcerted signal, the Bird's Nest Fort, 
mounting 35 guns, and a small fort, which being opposite the 
city, might have annoyed the factory, were seized without re- 
sistance. The Shameen Forts, at the head of the Macao passage, 
were subsequently treated in the same way ; and all the guns 
and ammunition in them were rendered unserviceable or were 

Detecting no signs whatsoever of submission on the part of the 
Chinese, but rather a more intractable disposition than ever, 
Seymour landed the rest of his Marines and a body of small-arm 
men to secure the factory, and stationed boats to guard against the 
approach of fire rafts, and attacks by water. This necessary work 
was superintended by Captain William King Hall, and the Marines 
on shore were placed under Captain Penrose Charles Penrose, E.M., 
of the Winchester, while Captain Cowper, K.E., who had been sent 
for the purpose from Hong Kong, advised as to the strengthening of 
the weak points of the position. For the protection of American 
interests, officers, seamen, and marines were landed at the same 
time from the U.S. corvette Portsmouth, Commander Andrew H. 
Foote, U.S.N. 

On October 25th possession was taken of Dutch Folly, a 50-gun 
fort on a small island opposite Canton ; and it was garrisoned by 
140 officers and men under Commander William Eae Eolland, of 
the Calcutta. All the defences of the city were then in British 
hands ; and the Commander-in-Chief desired Mr. Parkes to write to 


the High Commissioner that operations would cease when his 
Excellency should be prepared satisfactorily to settle the points in 

His Excellency did not reply as Seymour had anticipated. At 
12.30 P.M., a body of Chinese troops, part of a much larger force in 
its rear, attacked the position at the factory, in spite of Mr. Parkes's 
warning; but Penrose, with his Marines, drove back the enemy, 
killing and wounding about 14 of them. On the 26th, it being 
Sunday, the men were allowed to rest. 

Early on the morning of the 27th, Seymour caused a new letter 
to be written to the High Commissioner, informing him that, since 
satisfaction had not been offered for the Arrow outrage, operations 
would be continued. At Bowling's suggestion an additional demand 
was made to the effect that all foreign representatives should be 
allowed the same free access to the city, and to the authorities at 
Canton, as was enjoyed under treaty at the other four ports, and 
denied at Canton only. 

No reply being vouchsafed, fire was opened at 1 P.M. on the High 
Commissioner's compound from the 10-in. pivot gun of the Encounter, 
and kept up at intervals of from five to ten minutes until sunset. 
At the same time, the Barracouta, from a position which she had 
taken up at the head of Sulphur Creek, shelled some troops who 
were on the hills behind Gough's Fort. The High Commissioner 
retaliated by publicly offering a reward of 30 dollars for the head of 
every Englishman. A few gunners of the Koyal Artillery, who had 
joined under Captain Guy Eotton, E.A., were that day stationed in 
the Dutch Folly, where two 32-prs. from the Encounter had been 

On the 28th, these guns opened with the object of clearing a 
passage to the city wall. In the course of the day, Captain the 
Hon. Keith Stewart (2), of the Nank-in, 50, joined the Bear- 
Admiral, with 140 of his men, and a couple of field-pieces ; and 65 
officers and men from the U.S. corvette Levant reinforced the 
American guard ashore. During the following night, the enemy 
apparently mounted guns on the city wall ; and, anxious to give 
them no further opportunity for improving their defences, Seymour 
reopened fire early on the 29th. In the course of the morning, 
Commander William Thornton Bate, late of the Bittern, and acting 
Master Charles George Johnston, at some personal risk, ascertained 
that the breach was practicable ; and a body of Marines and small- 

dk 6/716&*/ *^so6na l &0m'. 


^sre&ts d4& e&tairwv*& ^&rdreu t/v ^^7 i/Lf&, J&n.?^ tL&&r- L-^TT d# ^/a/c,?m&'. 
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arm men, about 300 in number, was told off for the assault, under 
the command of Commodore Elliot. 

The Bear-Admiral accompanied the advance from the boats, 
which landed the force, and two field-pieces at 2 P.M. The seamen 
were led by the Commodore, Captain the Hon. Keith Stewart (2), and 
Commanders Bate and Bolland ; : the Marines by Captains Penrose, 
and Bobert Boyle, B.M. ; and the gun-detachment by Lieutenants 
James Henry Bushnell and James Stevenson Twysden ; Bate 
gallantly showing the way, and carrying an ensign to the summit of 
the breach, the wall on each side of which was quickly occupied. 
Penrose moved to the gate next on the right, and, having signalled 
his presence there, opened it to a further detachment which was 
instantly landed under Captain William King Hall, Commander 
Fortescue, and Flag-Lieutenant George Campbell Fowler. 2 The 
gate was then blown to pieces, 3 and the archway above it 
partially destroyed. In the meantime the guns had been placed in 
the breach, and had opened on some Chinese who began a desultory 
fire from their gingals, by which three people were killed, and eleven 
(two mortally) wounded. The latter were sent to Dutch Folly, 
where they were attended to by Surgeon Charles Abercromby 
Anderson, M.D., and Assistant-Surgeon George Bruce Newton. 
The Bear-Admiral, with the Commodore and Mr. Parkes, visited 
the house of the High Commissioner, and, at sunset, re-embarked 
with all his force, his object being, as he said in his dispatch, to 
demonstrate his power to enter the city. It is right, however, to 
add, that in the squadron the retirement was attributed to the 
impossibility of making a lodgment.* At all events, its moral effect 
was bad ; and it is scarcely astonishing that, in the night, the enemy 
filled up the breach with sandbags and timber. On the 30th and 
two following mornings it was cleared again by fire from the ships. 

Seymour once more wrote to the High Commissioner, sending 
him indeed two letters, neither of which produced a satisfactory 
reply. In the interval, in order to protect the factory from the 
dangers of incendiary fires, the houses between it and the city were 
pulled down ; and copies of the Bear- Admiral's letters, with a precis 
of the whole affair by Mr. Parkes, were distributed among the people 
through the medium of the native boatmen, who, in spite of what 
was going on, continued to furnish supplies to the ships. On the 

1 Posted, Aug. 10th, 1857. 2 Com., Aug. 10th, 1857. 3 By Capt. Rotton, R.A. 
4 Hand: Journal. See also Officer's letter in Naut. Mg., 1857, p. 153. 


31st, Captain Thomas Wilson joined, with 90 officers and men from 
his ship, the Winchester. 

On November 3rd, the Encounter, Samson, and Dutch Folly 
began a slow fire on the government buildings in the Tartar city, 
and on Gough's Fort, and continued it till 5 P.M. Seymour also 
addressed yet another letter to the High Commissioner. At night 
an attempt was made to blow up the English clubhouse, in which 
were some seamen and Marines ; and, in consequence, no native 
boats were thereafter allowed to approach the sea-wall of the 

On the 4th, fire was resumed for four hours, and on the 5th, one 
of the Samson's 68-prs. in Dutch Folly threw shells into a distant 
fort on a hill behind the city. That day information was received 
to the effect that an attack was intended upon the ships and the 
factory, and that twenty-three war junks were at anchor below 
Dutch Folly, protected by French Folly Fort, which mounted 
26 guns. 

Commodore Elliot was ordered to take the Barracouta, Coro- 
mandel, and ships' boats, and disperse or capture the junks ; and, 
Commander Bate having buoyed the narrow channel, the force 
proceeded at daylight on the 6th, and Fortescue presently anchored 
the Barracouta 800 yards above French Folly, and within 200 
yards of the nearest of the hostile vessels, which were all ready for 
action. The Barracouta, in order to prevent the Chinese from 
training their guns on her, fired her bow pivot gun as she 
approached, and so provoked the enemy, who, from more than 150 
pieces, retaliated ere she could bring her broadside to bear. In about 
five-and-thirty minutes, however, her grape and canister, and the 
approaching boats, under Captain Thomas Wilson, drove the people 
from their vessels ; and the sloop was then able to give her undivided 
attention to French Folly, which, being soon silenced, was taken 
possession of by a landing-party under Captain King Hall. Its guns 
and ammunition were destroyed. Two 32-prs. in Dutch Folly 
rendered material help during the engagement. The junks, being 
aground, or sunk, were burnt, with the exception of the admiral's ship, 
which was brought off, and two more, which escaped for the time, 
though one of them was afterwards burnt by Captain King Hall. 
Seymour mentions with praise the conduct of Commander Fortescue, 
of his senior Lieutenant, William Kemptown Bush, and of Lieu- 
tenant Henry Hamilton Beamish, of the Calcutta, who, under a very 


heavy fire, carried out the anchor by means of which the 
Barracouta 1 was enabled to spring her broadside. The affair, 
very bloody to the enemy, cost the British a loss of but 1 killed 
and 4 wounded. 

On November 7th, the Niger, 13, screw, Captain the Hon. 
Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane, C.B., arrived frcra 
England ; and a detachment from the frigate Virginie landed to 
protect French interests at the factory. 

At 4 A.M. on the 8th, the squadron was suddenly alarmed by a 
bold attempt on the part of the enemy to destroy it with fire-vessels. 
The Chinese sailed four large junks down the river, and anchored 
them when they were close to the Barracouta, Samson, and Niger ; 
whereupon they instantly burst into a blaze. The Barracouta must 
infallibly have been burnt had she not slipped her cable with extra- 
ordinary promptitude. The junks were backed up by war-boats ; 
but no damage was done, except to the Chinese. To prevent any 
similar occurrence Seymour caused lines of junks to be drawn across 
the river, above and below the shipping ; nor was the precaution 
needless. On the 12th, one of the junks of the upper line was 
burnt by means of a stinkpot ; and on the 13th, two small fire- 
boats which had been sent from the shore, exploded alongside the 
Niger. Thenceforward no native boats whatsoever were allowed 
within the lines of junks. 

In the meantime, at the advice of Sir John Bowring, the Bear- 
Admiral threatened the High Commissioner with the destruction of 
the Bogue forts ; but, failing, as before, to coerce him into submission, 
he left Commodore Elliot, with the Samson and Niger, to protect 
the factory, and on the afternoon of the llth proceeded in the 
Encounter below the Bogue, where he found the Calcutta, in which 
he rehoisted his flag, Nankin, 50, Barracouta, Hornet, 17, screw, 
Commander Charles Codrington Forsyth, just arrived from Hong 
Kong, and Coromandel. On the 12th, the mandarin in charge was 
summoned to deliver up the forts, pending the Emperor of China's 
decision concerning the conduct of the Viceroy and High Com- 
missioner ; and the Calcutta and Nankin were placed in positions 
favourable for action. As the demand was refused, the ships opened 
fire at 10.45 A.M. against the two Wantung Islands forts from the 
Bremer Channel side; and, after a considerable but ill-directed 

1 Her hull was pierced by 28 large shot, besides smaller oiies. Xaut. Mag., 1857, 

H 2 


resistance for about an hour, 1 sent ashore parties which took posses- 
sion of them. In the Nankin a boy was killed, and 4 men were 
wounded ; but fortunately there were no other casualties. The forts 
were fully manned, and mounted upwards of 200 guns; and they 
were stronger than when taken in 1841. On the 13th, the Anunghoy 
forts, on the opposite side of the Bogue, were attacked and taken 
in a similar manner. They mounted 210 guns, but were captured 
without loss to the British. On the 14th, the Commander-in-Chief 
returned to the Niger off Canton. Concluding his report of these 
events, Seymour wrote : 

" The command of the river being now in our hands, I have no operation in im- 
mediate contemplation beyond the security and maintenance of our position ; and it 
will remain with H.M. Government to determine whether the present opportunity shall 
be made available to enforce to their full extent the treaty stipulations which the. Canton 
government has hitherto been allowed to evade with impunity. . . . The original 
cause of dispute, though comparatively trifling, has now, from the injurious policy 
pursued by the Imperial High Commissioner, assumed so very grave an aspect as to- 
threaten the existence of amicable relations as regards Canton. Though I shall continue 
to take steps, in conjunction with H.M. Plenipotentiary, in the hope of being able to- 
bring matters to a successful termination, I shall be most anxious to receive the instruc- 
tions of H.M. Government on this important question." 2 

The Encounter was stationed close off the factory as a guard ; 
and the Samson was sent below the Barrier forts to join the 
Comus, 14, Commander Robert Jenkins, which was subsequently 
moved to below the Bogue to protect trade, and was relieved by the 
Hornet. On December 2nd, the Samson was ordered to the neigh- 
bourhood of Hong Kong, where petty piracy had become very 
troublesome. While, however, Seymour allowed the Chinese a 
short respite, the foolish conduct of the mandarins, and the in- 
tractableness of Yeh, provoked a conflict with the United States' 
ships in the river. 

On December 6th, at the back of Stonecutters' Island, near Hong 
Kong, the Samson, after an exciting chase of a couple of hours, 
drove ashore several junks and destroyed five, besides liberating 
two market boats with passengers on board. These petty pirates 
flew the flag of the Ti-ping rebels ; and it was consequently some- 
what difficult for Captain Hand to make certain of their true status 
until he caught them, as it were, red-handed. 3 In the Canton 

1 The majority of the logs make the time to have been nearer two hours. 

2 Seymour to Adlty., Nov. 14th. 

3 Hand to Seymour, Dec. 6th, 1H56. Hand took two more piratical boats on 
Dec. 29th, off Tongboo, he having been sent in the interim to Amoy. 


river little was done by the British during the winter months, 
beyond what was rendered necessary by the provocative action of 
the Chinese. On December Gth, it became advisable to capture 
French Folly Fort, which had been reoccupied ; and the work was 
easily accomplished by the Encounter and Barracouta, and landing 
parties from the squadron. On January 4th, 1857, an attack on 
Macao Fort, which was garrisoned by Marines of the squadron, was 
repulsed with no greater difficulty ; and, later in the course of the 
same month, an attempt by war junks on the ships in the Macao 
channel was frustrated by the action of the Hornet, Comus, 
Encounter, Niger, and Coromandel. In returning to Canton with 
stores for the squadron, the Samson had an experience which 
brought much adverse criticism upon her gallant Captain, who, as 
will be seen, did not in the least deserve it. On the morning of 
January 17th, 1857, while passing above the second bar, she fell in 
with a large fleet of mandarin junks, 1 which opened a heavy fire on 
her, and mortally wounded her pilot. Hand returned the fire as he 
approached, and, when abreast of the enemy, gave the order to stop 
the engines, with the object, no doubt, of doing as much damage 
as possible ere he went on. But although the Chinese shot had 
hulled the steamer in a dozen places, and wounded three people, 
Commodore Elliot, who happened to be taking passage, directed 
the Samson to proceed. Hand admits in his journal that he believes 
that he did no harm to the enemy, but chivalrously says nothing 
about the Commodore's order. I have the fact, however, from an 
officer who heard the order given. 

The harrying tactics of the Chinese, who seldom left the squadron 
alone for many hours together, annoying it almost every night with 
rockets, fire rafts, and all sorts of devilments, led Bear-Admiral 
Seymour to doubt the possibility of keeping the river communica- 
tion open with the small force at his disposal ; and, learning from 
India that no troops could be spared thence, he was disposed 
partially to withdraw from his position. The Niger left her station 
off the factory and anchored abreast of Macao Fort ; the Encounter 
did likewise ; and Dutch Folly was evacuated, and instantly re- 
occupied and burnt by the enemy. But it was finally determined 
to hold Macao Fort, and to keep at least the lower reaches of the 
river open. The mandarin junks which had attacked the Samson 

1 Fast armed craft, otherwise called " snake boats." Cf. ancient " esnecca," 
Vol. I., 101 . 


on January 17th, and which generally lay in Escape Creek, had a, 
brush with the Hornet in February, and lost one of their number, 
a vessel mounting sixteen guns, some of which were British Board 
of Ordnance 32-prs. ; but they remained very troublesome, and, as 
they were about 120 in number, the Hornet and Samson were for 
a time stationed off the mouth of the creek to observe them. In 
March, in Sandy Bay, the Hornet destroyed 17 large lorchas and 
junks. On April 6th, the two vessels, with the tenders, Hongkong 
and Sir Charles Forbes, stood in to Deep Bay, as far as the depth of 
water would permit, in search of some junks, and, finding several, 
sent their boats, and those of the Sibylle and Nankin, up a creek, 
where 11 junks and 2 lorchas were taken and destroyed. Numerous 
other craft were taken or burnt up and down the coast during the 
six or seven weeks following ; and in the course of that period 
the British force in the river was reinforced; but the Raleigh, 50, 
Commodore the Hon. Henry Keppel, C.B., one of the vessels which 
should have joined the flag, struck on an obstruction between Hong 
Kong and Macao on April 14th, and had to be beached between the 
Koko and Typa Islands, where she ultimately became a total loss. 
Keppel shifted his broad pennant to the Alligator (hospital ship), 
and managed to save all his stores, guns, etc. At about the same 
time there arrived the good news that, although there was nothing 
like unanimity in England on the Chinese question, and although 
Seymour and Bowring were held to have acted imprudently, 5000 
troops were to be sent out, and strong measures were to be adopted 
for the settlement of all difficulties, seeing that the action of those 
on the spot had put the credit of the country at stake, and that it 
must be supported. 

Towards the end of May, therefore, active operations were 
resumed, the first blows being dealt at the troublesome mandarin 
fleet in Escape Creek, an eastward branch of the Canton Eiver, 1 by 
a flotilla under the orders of Commodore Elliot. 

On May 25th, Elliot went on board the tender Hongkong, and, 
followed by the gunboats Bustard, Lieutenant Tathwell Benjamin 
Collinson, Staunch,' 2 Lieutenant Leveson Wildman, and Starling, 
Lieutenant Arthur Julian Villiers, and the tender Sir Charles Forbes, 
in the order named, towing boats manned from the Sibylle, Raleigh, 
Tribune, Hornet, Inflexible, and Fury, steamed into the creek, and 

1 Sec Map, Vol. VI., p. 286. 

2 The Stiumch seem-; to have subsequently fallen astern. 


soon sighted 41 junks, which were moored across the stream, and 
which opened a spirited fire from their guns - in each case a 24- or 
3'2-pr. forward, and four or six 9-prs. The attacking craft then 
formed in line in as wide order as possible, and replied warmly, the 
Chinese sticking to their guns wonderfully well, but finally cutting 
their cables, hoisting their sails, getting out their sweeps, and fleeing 
further up. The steamers pursued until they grounded ; and then 
their people abandoned them temporarily, and, jumping into the 
boats, pulled hard after the enemy. One by one, several of the 
junks were overhauled. In most cases the Chinese, when a boat 
got alongside, fired a last broadside of grape and langridge at her, 
leapt overboard on the other side, and swam for shore. Thus sixteen 
craft were disposed of in the main channel, by boats led by Captain 
Harry Edmund Edgell, of the Tribune, 31, screw. Ten more took 
refuge up a minor creek on the left, and were chased by a division 
of boats under Commander Charles Codrington Forsyth ; whereupon 
their crews set them on fire and abandoned them. One vessel, 


which made for a creek on the right, was abandoned so hastily 
that her people had no time to fire her : and she was taken and 
towed out. The other junks got away by dint of hard pulling. 
The heat was terrible, and, although there were only two casualties 
from the enemy's shot, some damage was done by sunstroke. 

In addition to some of the officers named above, the following 
were mentioned by the Commodore with approval, in consequence 
of their share in that day's work : Commander John Corbett ; l 
Lieutenants Arthur Metivier Brock, 2 and Edward Frederic Dent ; 2 
acting-Mates Ralph Abercrombie Brown, 3 and Thomas Keith 
Hudson ; 4 and Second-Master John Molloy. 

On the following day, the outlets into the main stream of all 
the creeks communicating with Escape Creek were guarded : the 

1 Posted, Aug. 10th, 1857. 3 Actg. Lieut., May 25th, 1857. 

2 Corns., Aug. 10th, 1857. 4 Actg. Lieut., Aug. 10th, 1857. 


Sawshee channel by the Tribune, Captain Harry Edmund Edgell ; 
the Second Bar Creek by the Inflexible, Commander John Corbett ; 
. and Escape Creek itself by the Hornet, Commander Charles Cod- 
nngton Forsyth, the idea being to scour the inland waters, and 
oblige all junks in them either to fight or to flee towards the guarded 
passages. At daybreak on the 27th, the Commodore and the boats, 
towed for ten or twelve miles by the steamers, proceeded up the 
Sawshee channel. About ten miles above where the steamers had 
been left, the city of Touan-Kouan was sighted, and the mast- 
heads of many war junks were observed over the land. The boats, 
although threatened by a small battery, pulled on with such speed 
as to take the enemy completely by surprise. Both battery and 
junks were abandoned almost as soon as the boats opened fire on 
them; and orders were at once given to destroy all the vessels 
except one, the finest and heaviest armed war junk Elliot had 
ever seen in China. Owing, however, to the opposition of the 
enemy, who plied their gingals from among the houses on the 
banks of the narrow creek, all the junks had to be burnt. Even 
this could not be accomplished until landings had been effected 
to clear the neighbourhood. The force then withdrew. Elliot in 
his letter to Seymour, says nothing about the number of people 
wounded ; but it was much more considerable than on the 25th * 
He mentions, however, with approval Captain Edgell ; Commanders 
Forsyth, 2 Corbett, 2 and Edward Winterton Tumour 2 (late of the 
Raleigh] Lieutenants Edward Nares, and William Lowley Stani 
forth; 3 acting-Mate Thomas Keith Hudson; Chaplain and Naval 
Instructor the Eev. Samuel Beal, who was very useful as Chinese 
terpreter, and Lieutenant George Lascelles Blake B M * 
During all this time the Chinese force, consisting of the large 
it of war junks which had attacked Macao Fort on January 4th 
and which had afterwards tried to block the Macao channel lav i, 
Fatshan Creek. The Commander-in-Chief had been for some days 
Hong Kong, when, leaving Captain William King Hall there 
m the Calcutta, he embarked on May 29th in the paddle tender 
mandd, Lieutenant Sholto Douglas, and, accompanied by 

'ei e wounded, including Lieuts. Francis Martin 
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several gunboats, and by the boats of the flagship, under Com- 
mander William Eae Eolland, 1 entered the Canton Eiver and 
proceeded as far as the second bar. His immediate object was 
to deal with the junks in Fatshan Creek, as those in Escape Creek 
had been already dealt with by Commodore Elliot. Some way up 
the creek, and nearly south of Canton, is Hyacinth Island, a flat 
expanse which very much narrows the channels. On the south 
side of the creek is a high hill, upon which the Chinese had built 
a 19-gun fort ; opposite to it was a 6-gun battery ; in the channel, 
moored so as to command the passage, were seventy junks ; and 




I S - T JUNE: 1857. 

the whole position was so strong as to be deemed impregnable by 
those who held it. Seymour caused his force to make rendezvous 
on May 31st, a short distance below the obstruction ; and before 
dawn on June 1st he led to the attack in the Coromandel, with 
the Haughty following, each vessel having on board a detachment 
of seamen, under Commodore Elliot, and Marines, under Captain 
Eobert Boyle, E.M., and towing boats manned and armed. This 
force constituted the first division, the mission of which was to 
capture the 19-gun fort and its outworks. Commodore the Hon. 
Henry Keppel, in the Hongkong, Lieutenant James Graham Good- 
enough, with the second, third, and fourth divisions, was ordered, 

1 Posted, Aug. 10th. 1857. 


upon seeing the assaulting party mounting the hill, to advance 
up the channel on the other side of Hyacinth Island, and attack 
the junks. 1 

Sir Michael Seymour, in his dispatch, gives the following account 
of what occurred : 

" The flight of several signal rockets showed that the Chinese were fully alive to 
our proceedings. When within about 1000 yards of the fort, the Coromandel grounded 
on a barrier of sunken junks filled with stones; and the enemy opened fire. The 
leading party of seamen and Marines were immediately put in the boats, acd sent 
ahead; and, under a very heavy fire of round and grape, in which the junk fleet 
joined, the fort was almost immediately in our possession, Commodore Elliot setting the 
good example of being one of the first in it. The landing was partially covered by the 
fire of the Haughty. One or two of the guns in the fort were immediately turned on the 
war juuks. Happily this important service was effected without loss. 

" The position was a remarkably strong one, and, defended by a body of resolute 
troops, might have bid defiance to any attack. The Haughty, having landed her party, 
went on, with Commodore Elliot and the boats of the first division, to co-operate with 
Commodore Keppel. I ordered a portion of the Royal Marines, under Lieutenant and 
Adjutant Burton, 2 to remain as a garrison in the fort, and sent Captain Boyle, 3 with the 
remainder, about 150 in number, to the scene of operations by land, to cut off the 
enemy retreating from the junks, and to prevent the advancing boats being annoyed by 
gingals or matchlocks from a large village adjoining a favourite tactic with the Chinese. 
One half of this force was ultimately sent back to the fort, and the remainder rejoined 
the squadron up the creek. 

" As soon as Commodore the Hon. H. Keppt'l jierceived the men of the first division 
ascending the heights, he advanced up the channel on the east side of Hyacinth Island, 
with the gun and other boats of the second, third, and fourth divisions, in the order 
stated in the programme. With the exception of the Haughty and Plover, the gunboats 
soon grounded, but, agreeably with my instructions, the boats were pushed ahead. The 
juuks, which were admirably moored in position to enfilade the whole of the attacking 
force, soon opened a very heavy fire, keeping it up with great spirit, until our boats 
were close alongside, when the crews commenced to abandon their vessels, and to effect 


A'essels employed in the action in Fatshan Creek : 

Coromandel, padd. tender J?:^-. ^ 1 f' cha f 1 S ,^ IIlour t < 2 >',?: r ?-_ 

\Lieut. bholto Douglas (Com., Ap. 28th, 1858). 

Hnnnl-nn nadd tpndpr / Commod - Hon - Henry Keppel, C.B. 
ongkony, padd. te A . ^.^ Jameg Qraham Goo ' d ' elluugll (Com _ ; ^ 

JlauaUu scr a b /Commod. Hon. Chas. Gilb. Jno. Brydone Elliot, C.B. 

' \ Lieut. Richard Vesey Hamilton (Com., Aug. 10th, 1857). 

Plover, scr. g.-b. . . . Lieut. Keith Stewart (3). 

Opossum, scr. g.-b. . . Lieut. Colin Andrew Campbell (Com., Feb. 26th, 1858). 

Bustard, scr. g.-b. . . Lieut. Tathwell Benj. Collinson. 

Forester, scr. g.-b. . . Lieut. Arthur John Innes. 

Starling, scr. g.-b. . . Lieut. Arthur Julian Villiers. 

Staunch, scr. g.-b. . . Lieut. Leveson Wildman. 

and boats from the Calcutta, Nankin, Raleigh, Tribune, Highflyer, Inflexible, Niger, 
Sibylle, Hornet, Fury, Elk, Acorn, and Cruiser. 

2 Lieut. Cuthtert Ward Burton, R.M. 

s Capt, Robert Boyle, R.M. 


their escape across the paddy fields. The blowing up of one or two junks hastened this 
movement. In about twenty m'nutes we had possession of fifty junks. 

" Leaving the third and fourth divisions to secure the prizes, Commodore Keppel 
then proceeded about three miles further up the creek, where more mastheads were 
visible ; and found twenty junks moored across the stream in a very strong position, 
which opened such a well-directed and destructive fire that he was obliged to retire, and 
wait for reinforcements. The launch of the Calcutta was sunk by a round shot ; the 
Commodore's galley had three round shot through her ; and several other boats were 
much injured. On additional boats coming up, the Commodore shifted to the Calcutta's 
black barge, 1 and agnin advanced ; and, after a severe action, the enemy gave way. 
They were pursued as far as Fatshan, a distance of seven miles, and seventeen of them 
captured and burnt. In consequence of my orders not to molest this large and impor- 
tant city, the three junks which passed through the creek on which it is built effected 
their escape. 

" The result of this expedition was the cap! ure of between seventy and eighty heavily- 
armed junks, mounting, on an average, from ten to fourteen guns (many of them long 
32-pounders), nearly all of European manufacture. As no object would have been 
gained by removing the prizes, I caused them, with a few exceptions, to be burnt ; 
and the flames and numerous heavy explosions must have been seen and heard far 
and wide. 

" This engagement opens a new era in Chinese naval warfare. Great judgment was 
shown in selecting the position for the fleet ; and the Chinese, particularly the last 
division attacked by Commodore Keppel, defended their ships with skill, courage, 
and effect. 

" I enclose a list of casualties, which, I regret to say, is large, amounting to 3 officers, 
and 10 seamen and Marines, killed, and 4 officers, and 40 seamen and Marines wounded ; - 
but it is to me a matter of surprise that, under the circumstances of the case, the loss 
was not greater." 

Declaring that all did their duty, the Commander-in-Chief re- 
commended the Admiralty, in the bestowal of marks of its approval, 
to have regard to the seniority and services of those engaged. He 
mentioned by name only the two Commodores, 3 and Master George 
Raymond, of the Encounter,* who had volunteered his services as 
pilot, and taken the Hongkong up Fatshan Creek "a service of 
danger." Nor did Keppel, in his letter, dated from " the Raleigh's 
tender, Sir Charles Forbes," on July 2nd, single out individuals for 
special praise, beyond saying that Captain the Hon. Arthur Auckland 
Leopold Pedro Cochrane led the final seven miles' chase ; but in a 
letter to his sister, the Hon. Mrs. H. F. Stephenson, the Commodore 

1 In this he returned to the Elongkong, where he shifted into the (lato) 
Raleiyh's cutter. 

2 The officers killed were Master's-Assistant K. C. Bryan (llighflyer), Mids. H. 
Barker (Tribune), and Major Kearney. The officers wounded were Capt. Hon. 
A. A. L. P. Cochrane; Lieut. John Stanley Graham; and Mids. Edward Pilkington, 
and Henry Nelson Hippisley. Master's-Assistant B. Staunch, who was slightly hurt, is 
not included. 

3 Keppel, in consequence, was made a K.C.B., and Elliot a C.B. on Sept. 12th, 1857. 

4 Then lying oft' Macao. 


gives some characteristic details. After describing the grounding 
of the Hongkong, Keppei goes on : 

" Took with me Prince Victor of Uoheulohe, 1 having previously been commanded by 
her Majesty, through Sir Charles Phipps, to take every care of him, and left Victor 
Montagu, 2 my proper gig's Mitl., on board ; but the lifting tide soon put him in the 
midst. The first division of the Chinese were attacked simultaneously by about- 1900 
men. I had not more than a quarter of that number to attack the second division, 
which was three miles higher up the river. . . . Boarding nets were dropped on our 
boats, but not until our men were alongside ; and it enabled them all the quicker to 
sever the cables connecting the junks, lialeiyh's boats well up, and did not require 
cheering on. The Chinese fired occasional shots to ascertain exact distance, but did not 
open their heaviest fire until we were within 600 yards. Nearly the first fellow cut in 
two by a round si ot was an amateur, Major Kearney 3 . . . . We cheered, and were 
trying to get to the front when a shot struck our boat, killing the bow man. Another 
was cut in two. Prince Victor leant forward to bind up the man's arm with his 
neck-cloth. While he was so doing, a shot passed through both sides of the boat, 
wounding two more of the crew : in short, the boat was sunk under us. ... 

"The tide rising, boats disabled, our oars shot away, it was necessary to re-form. 
I was collared, and drawn from the water by young Michael Seymour,* a Mate of his 
uncle's flagship, the Calcutta. We were all picked up except the dead bow man. . . 
As we retired, I shook my fist at the junks, promising I would pay them off. We 
went to the Hongkong, and re-formed. I hailed Lieutenant Graham 5 to get his boat 
ready, as I would hoist the broad pennant for next attack in his boat. I had no sooner 
spoken than he was down, the same shot killing and wounding four others. Graham 
was one mass of blood ; but it was from a Marine who stood next to him, part of 
whose skull was forced three inches into another man's shoulder. When we reached the 
Ilanylong, the whole of the Chinese fire appeared to be centered on her. She was 
hulled twelve times in a few minutes. Her deck was covered with the wounded who 
had been brought on board from different boats. From the paddle-box we saw that 
the noise of guns was bringing up strong reinforcements. The account of our having 
been obliged to retire had reached them. They were pulling up like mad. The Hong- 
kong had floated, but grounded again. A bit of blue bunting 6 was prepared to 
represent a broad pennant, and I called out, 'Let's try the row-boats once more, boys,' 
and went over the side into our cutter (Raleigh's), in which were Tumour, 7 and the 
faithful coxswain, Spurrier. 8 At this moment there arose from the boats, as if every 
man took it up at the same instant, one of those British cheers so full of meaning that 
I knew at once it was all up witli John Chinaman. The}' might sink twenty boats, 
but there were thirty others whi< h would go ahead all the faster. It was indeed an 
exciting sight. A move among the junks! They were breaking ground and moving 
off, the outermost first. This the Chinese performed in good order, without slacking 
fire. Then commenced an exciting chase for seven miles. As our shot told they ran 

1 H.S.H. Prince Victor F. F. E. A. C. F., of Hohenlohe-Langeuberg, Count Gleichen, 
died a retired vice-admiral in 1891. He was a nephew of Queen Victoria. 

2 Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, retd. as a dipt., 1877. 

3 D.A.Q.G. of China Exped. Force. 

4 Later Adm. Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, G.C.B. 

fl Lieut. James Stanley Graham, of the Calcutta. Died a Capt., Feb. 3rd, 1873. 
c Keppei was then Commod. of the Blue, or third class. 

7 Edward Winterton Tumour, late Com. of the Raleigh. 

8 Wounded. 


mostly on to the mud banks, and their crews forsook them. Young Cochrane ' in his 
light gig got the start of me. . . . Seventesn junks were overtaken and captured. 
Three only escaped. . . ." 2 

These operations had a great moral effect upon the Chinese, and 
would, perhaps, have inclined them to listen to reason and to concede 
Seymour's demands, had it been found possible to follow them up 
promptly and with vigour. Unhappily, as will be seen, the sky was 
just then black for England, and she could not for the time concen- 
trate her attention on the Chinese question, having to wrestle else- 
where for the very life of her Eastern Empire. 

It may be mentioned here that, at the beginning of June, the 
Samson, being away on detached duty, learnt of the presence of 
some piratical junks in Mirs Bay, off which place Captain Hand 
accordingly presented himself early in the morning of June 8th. 
Getting out three of his boats, under Lieutenant George Henry 
Wale, 3 he sent them to cut off a craft which was seen standing into 
Double Haven, and himself went round in the frigate to Crooked 
Harbour, where he came upon a pirate mounting nine guns, and 
having 70 men, all of whom leapt overboard and made for the shore, 
only to be massacred there by the villagers. Wale, after some 
resistance had been offered, took two lorchas and a junk, mounting 
in all 22 guns, which were convoyed to Hong Kong, where owners 
were found, and salvage money paid for them. They had apparently 
been captured by the other vessel. 4 Commander John Corbett, in 
the Inflexible, took a pirate at about the same time. It may be men- 
tioned, too, that on June 18th, the most southern of the defences of 
the Canton Eiver, near the Bogue, and known as Chuenpee, was occu- 
pied by the British without resistance, and found to have been not only 
abandoned, but also partly dismantled. It was entrusted to the com- 
mand of Captain Edgell, of the Tribune. On July 6th, the Samson 
towed the Alligator, bearing Keppel's pennant, to Hong Kong. 5 

France, like Great Britain, had with China treaties which were 
not observed, and her squadron in Chinese waters would have made 
common cause with Seymour's at once, had it been a little stronger 
than it was. The French government, however, unwilling to let 

1 The Captain of the Niyer, who was wounded. He was then 33, but his father, 
Adm. Lord Dundonald, was alive. 

2 Keppel, iii., 2. The letter was printed in the Times. 

3 Com. Feb. 26th, 1853. 4 Hand to Seymour, June 9th. 

c Keppel soon afterwards went home, Sir Charles Wood disapproving of his hoisting 
a broad pennant, in view of the loss of the Raleigh. 


slip so good an occasion for settling long-standing difficulties, decided 
to strengthen its forces, so as to enable it to act with effect, and to 
send out Baron Gros with instructions to co-operate with Lord 
Elgin, 1 who was heing despatched from England with special powers 
to treat concerning all pending questions. Rear-Admiral Eigault 
de Genouilly, who went out in the Nimesis, 50, arrived in Chinese 
waters on July 8th, 1857, and, on the 15th of the same month, 
superseded Bear-Admiral Guerin. Thenceforward he was rein- 
forced from time to time. Baron Gros did not reach China until 
October. 2 

In the meantime, large reinforcements, naval as well as military, 
had been sent out from England ; and the Shannon, 51, screw, 
Captain William Peel, C.B., had conveyed Lord Elgin to the scene 
of action. But Elgin, on reaching Singapore, had learnt of the out- 
break of the Mutiny in India, and, not underrating its character, had 
wisely taken upon himself to divert thither the troops intended for 
China. On July 14th, still graver news reached Seymour, who was 
then preparing for a trip with Lord Elgin to the gulf of Pechili ; and 
he thereupon sent to Calcutta the Shannon, with 300 Marines who 
had arrived in China in the Sanspareil, 70, screw, Captain Astley 
Cooper Key, C.B., together with the Pearl, 21, screw, Captain 
Edward Southwell Sotheby. The two ships sailed on July 15th, 
and, as will be shown later, were able to render most valuable 
services. The Sanspareil herself also proceeded in August to 
Calcutta with artillery and stores, 3 but did not, as the other ships 
did, land a brigade for service with the troops in the interior of India. 
A party from her garrisoned Fort William for a time, but she re- 
turned to the Canton Eiver on December 17th, in time for the 
operations then pending. Lord Elgin, seeing that, until the major 
danger should be crushed, little could be done in China, retired to 
Calcutta, to await a better opportunity, and left Seymour to blockade 
the Canton River. The blockade was declared as from August 7th, 
and, in the opinion of naval officers on the spot, was established not 
so much to annoy the Chinese as to prevent foreign vessels from 
going up to load, and so getting the trade into their hands at a time 
when the British and French were unable to enjoy a share of it. 4 

Lord Elgin returned to Hong Kong at the end of September, but 

1 James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Kt. * Chevalier, 297. 

3 She was towed 745 miles of the way by the Samson, which expended 215 tons uf 
coal on the run. Hand's Journal. * Hand's Journal. 

1857.] PIM AT SAI-LAU. Ill 

for some time afterwards nothing could be done, owing to the 
slowness with which the French squadron was reinforced, and to 
the absence of troops. Although, however, the 5000 men originally 
intended for China had, as has been shown, been diverted from their 
destination to meet the pressing need in India, 1500 men under 
General Charles T. van Straubenzee, chiefly Eoyal Marines, Royal 
Artillery, the 59th Regiment, and the 38th Madras native infantry, 
were placed at Seymour's disposal. 

On December 10th, the French squadron anchored at the Bogue ; 
and Rear-Admiral Rigault de Genouilly issued a proclamation to 
the effect that from the 12th he should associate himself with his 
British colleague in the blockade of the river. On the 13th he 
took his force up to Whampoa; and on the day following, Seymour, 
transferring his flag to the Coromandel, also proceeded to the front 
with the British gunboats. 

A bloody and lamentable affair occurred on December 14th. 

Lieutenant Bedford Clapperton Tryvellion Pirn, commanding the 

gunboat Banterer, took his second gig, with fourteen people in her 

besides himself, up a winding creek opposite High Island to a point 

near the town of Sai-lau, where, leaving two men in charge, he 

landed with the rest of his party, and entered the place. His object, 

according to the correspondent of the Illustrated London News, who 

accompanied him, was partly recreation and partly information. On 

his return, he found that a number of Chinamen were assailing 

the two boat-keepers with brickbats. He charged the mob, and 

so got the whole of his people to the boat ; but no sooner were they 

on board than a sharp fire was opened upon them with gingals, and 

later with a small gun . Pirn, who displayed extraordinary personal 

courage, conducted the retreat along the narrow creek, standing in 

the stern-sheets, and using his revolver with great effect ; but the 

fire was so hot, and victory seemed so hopeless, that one by one the 

people who were in a condition to do so waded ashore, and bolted in 

the direction of the Nankin, whose hull was visible over the paddy 

fields. Pirn stuck to the boat until every other living person had 

deserted her, and then, using his last cartridge to shoot the Chinese 

leader, also leapt to land and took to his heels. Of fifteen people in 

the boat, five were killed outright, one died afterwards, and five 

more, including Pirn, who was hit in six places, were wounded. On 

~ the 15th, the Nankin, by way of reprisals, shelled Sai-lau, and landed 

250 men, who, after a determined resistance, entered the place, part 


of which they burnt, not, however, without suffering a loss of four 
wounded. Pirn's * expedition was a most foolhardy one, and, seeing 
that little or no good could possibly have been derived from it, should 
never have been undertaken. 2 A court of inquiry, nevertheless, 
found that he was justified in all he had done. His gallantry 
gained him his promotion on April 19th, 1858. 

On December 15th, the Marines, and a French detachment in- 
tended for the attack on Canton, were landed without opposition on 
the island of Honan, where they found excellent quarters ; and in the 
course of the next few days the lighter vessels of the combined fleet 
were all stationed in readiness for the projected attack 3 upon Canton. 

A final demand for satisfaction and concession had been sent 
to Commissioner Yeh on December 12th, and ten days had been 
assigned to him wherein to reply. In the interim, a battery for 
mortars was erected on Dutch Folly rock, and a conference of the 
allied chiefs was held on board the Audacieuse, the headquarters of 
Baron Gros. 

Captain Chevalier explains very lucidly the situation, and the 
difficulties which confronted the allied Admirals. 

1 Capt. Ap. 16th, 1868 ; retd. rear-adm. July 5th, 1885 : died, 1886. 

2 111 Land. Sews, Feb. 27th, 1858. Cooke, 286. 

3 The stations of the larger vessels of the allied fleets during the bombardment 
were, beginning at the eastward end of the line: 





Fr. Priri'Muguet, scr. . 
Fr. Durance, scr. . 
Br. Furious, pad.. 


Com. Vrignaud 
Lieut. Thoyon 
Capt. Sherard Osborn, C.B. 

(Outside east end of 
I Kuper Island. 

Fr. Dragonne, scr. g.-v. . 


Lieut. Barry 

Off French Folly. 

Br. Surprise, scr. g.-v. 


(Com. Sanil. Gurney Cress- 
\ well 

jOffS.E. corner of wall. 

Fr. Marceau, scr. disp. v. 


Com. Lefer de La Motte 

Br. Nimrod, scr. g.-v. 
l''r. Aoalaiiclie, scr. g.-v. . 


Com. Roderick Dew 
Lieut. Lafond 

Outside the island (with 

Br. Niger, scr. 


(Capt. Hon. A. A. L. P. 
\ Cochrane 


Br. Hornet, scr. . 
Br. Cruiser, scr. . 


Com. Win. Montagu Dowell 
Com. Chas. Fellowes 

jOff Yeh's Yamen. 

Br. Bittern, sailg. 


(Lieut. Jas. Graham Good- 
1 enough 

JQutside Dutch Folly. 

Fr. Mitrailh, scr. g.-v. . 


Lieut. Beranger 

Fr. Fusee, scr. g.-v. . . 4 

(Lieut. Gabrielli de Car- 

Inside Dutch Folly. 

t pegua 

Br. Actieon, surv.. 

Capt. Win. Thornton Bate 

H)ff the Factories (with 

Fr. Pltltgeton, scr. . 


Com. Leveque 

/ gunboats). 

Br. Hesper, scr. store-s. . 
Br. Acorn, sailg. . 


Mast. Jas. Stephen Hill 
/Com. Arth. Win. Acland 
\ Hood 

jOff K.W. of Honan 
j Island. 




" The task to be performed with the feeble means at their disposal was," he says, 
" to strike a blow worthy of the strength of France and England, and, at the same time, 
of such a nature as to destroy Commissioner Yeh's illusions on the subject of the possi- 
bility of resisting the allies. It was one thing to make a way into Canton by main 
force, and altogether another thing to maintain oneself, with a few thousand men, in a 
city of a million inhabitants. Nor was there any doubt that, if order should cease to 
reign there, part of the Chinese population would give itself up to pillage, and would 
commit acts of brigandage which would strike at the honour of the two nations. In 
order to avoid such misfortunes, the Admirals and the General, after careful study, made 
the following dispositions. The gunboats and the lighter vessels, going in as close as 
their draught of water would permit, were to bombard the south face of the massive 
walls which surrounded Canton, so that the resulting breach would prevent the Chinese 


DEC: 1857 


troops from communicating by way of the walls with the eastern portion. The expe- 
ditional corps, landed on that same side of the city, was to make its way along the 
walls, its aim being the capture of the positions which command Canton on the north. 
Supposing the double operation to succeed, the allies would hold Canton under the guns 
of the forts on the north, and under those of the squadron, which would still be ready 
to open on the south side ; and it would then be seen whether the Imperial Commissioner 
would accept, without further delay, the terms offered to him." 

Active hostilities were not resumed until daybreak on Decem- 
ber 28th, when, it having become clear that the Chinese authorities 
would not give way an inch unless forced to do so, a general 
bombardment of the city was opened by the ships of the combined 
fleets, thirty-two in number, while the troops from Honan Island, 


and a French naval brigade, were conveyed to the place of dis- 
embarkation, a point about two miles below French Folly. 

After the army and the French had landed, the British Naval 
Brigade, of 1500 men, commanded by Commodore Elliot, and formed 
in three divisions under Captains the Hon. Keith Stewart (2) (Nankin), 
Astley Cooper Key (Sanspareil) , and Sir Eobert John Le Mesurier 
M'Clure (Esk), 1 also disembarked, and advanced to some rising 
ground to the eastward of the city. Lin Fort, a work on the same 
side, was quickly seized by the French and the 59th ; but the naval 
advance was checked ; and the Brigade ultimately took up a position 
for the night in some buildings about 800 yards to the right of 
Gcugh's Fort, which annoyed it with a desultory fire during the 
hours of darkness. On the morning of the 29th the Brigade joined 
the rest of the force for the storm, and moved up behind a hillock, 
about 800 yards from the east gate, where the men had breakfast. 
At about that time, while examining the ditch and wall, and pointing 
out to Seymour a good place for scaling, Captain William Thornton 
Bate, of the Actcton, a most valuable officer, and a noted surveyor, 
was shot dead with a gingal ball. 2 At 8.30, the scaling ladders were 
sent to the front, under Commander John Fane Charles Hamilton 3 
(Elk) ; and at 8.45 the general advance was sounded, the point 
chosen for escalade being one which was sheltered by an angle of 
the wall from the fire of Gough's Fort. The French assaulted at a 
point 500 yards distant, and were the first up, but only by a minute 
or two. Commander Charles Fellowes, 3 of the Cruiser, is generally 
credited with having topped the wall before any other officer or 
man of the Naval Brigade. In an hour after the assault, the whole 
of the heights were in possession of the allies. The Navy opened 
the north-east gate to the Marines and artillery, and some of the 
Samson's and Calcutta's dragged up two or three field-pieces where' 

1 With the First Division were Capt. Geo. Sumner Hand (Samson), and Corns. Jno. 
Pane Chas. Hamilton (Elk), and Geo. Aug. Cooke Brooker (Inflexible), and parties 
from the Nankin, Sibylle, Samson, Racehorse, and Inflexible : with the Second Division 
were Corns. Arth. Wm. Acland Hood (Acorn), and Julian Foulston Slight (Sanspareil), 
and parties from the Calcutta, Sanspareil, and Acorn, and from Macao Fort : with the 
Third Division were Capts. Sherard Osborn, C.B., and Hon. A. A. L. P. Cochrane, C.B., 
and Corns. Wm. Montagu Dowell (Hornet), and Chas. Fellowes (Cruiser), and parties 
from the Highflyer, Esk, Niger, Furious, Hornet, and Cruiser. Genl. Order of 
Dec. 26th. 

2 Mids. Henry Thompson, of the Sanspareil, was mortally wounded by a rocket at 
about the same time. 

" Posted, Feb. 26th, 1858. 


the wall had been scaled, the guns being subsequently sent towards 
the heights under Lieutenant Henry Hamilton Beamish. 1 In the 
course of a movement in the direction of Magazine Hill, where the 
enemy made a stand, some further casualties, which, however, were 
not very numerous, 2 took place, and Lieutenant Viscount Gilford 3 
was badly wounded. 

After the city had been occupied, and Gough's Fort had been 
evacuated by the Chinese, resistance ceased, though there was some 
sniping till nightfall. On the 30th, flags of truce appeared in various 
places, and a message arrived from the Tartar general to the effect 
that he was willing to discuss matters. As, however, he did not 
appear upon the expiration of the time assigned to him, a party 
went the round of the ramparts of the old city, and spiked, or 
knocked the trunnions off, all the guns there. About 400 were 


thus dealt with ; but most of them were already honeycombed, 
and almost useless. 

The Chinese authorities were still obdurate. Every proposal 
made to the Imperial Commissioner was put aside by him ; and 
although Canton was at the mercy of the allies, it was, or presently 
would be, still more at the mercy of the bands of robbers who were 
gathering round it from the country, unless, indeed, the Tartar 
troops, who were also assembling in the neighbourhood, should 
succeed, as no doubt Yeh hoped they would, in forcing the allies to 
quit both the city and the river. A further step, therefore, had to 
be taken, and, on January 5th, 1858, at daybreak, three detachments, 

1 Com., Feb. 26th, 1858. 

2 In the whole operations, the Naval Brigade had 7 killed or mortally wounded, and 
32 wounded. The officers killed were Capt. Win. Thornton Bate, and Mids. Henry 
Thompson : those wounded were Com. Chas. Fellowes, and Lieuts. Visct. Gilford, and 
William Ormonde Butler. The Marine Battalion lost 4 killed and 32 wounded, among 
the latter being Lieut.-Col. Thos. Holloway, R.M.A., and Lieut. Wm. Fredk. Portlock 
Scott Dadson. 

8 Later Adm. of the Fleet the Earl of Clanwilliam : Com. Feb. 26th, 1858. 

i 2 


in pursuance of a pre-arranged plan, entered the city. One laid 
hands on, and carried off, the Tartar general, Muh ; another, British, 
kidnapped the governor of the city, Peh-Kwei ; and the third, also 
British, abducted, and ultimately carried on board -the Inflexible, 
Yeh himself. Captain Cooper Key, indeed, took the Commissioner 
with his own hands. The general and the governor were afterwards 
sent back to carry out their duties and maintain order, under the 
supervision of an international commission. This arrangement 
worked well, and it was found possible to raise the blockade of the 
Canton river on February 10th. 

But China remained defiant. After having waited in vain for 
plenipotentiaries from Peking, Lord Elgin and Baron Gros determined 
to go northward, hoping that a naval demonstration in the vicinity 
of the capital of the empire would tend to accelerate the course of 
events. In order, moreover, to allow the ministers of the United 
States and of Eussia to associate themselves in the negotiations, it 
was formally declared that the war with China, so far as Great 
Britain and France were concerned, was confined to the city of 
Canton. The arrival of large military reinforcements in the river 
enabled the Admirals to withdraw with a number of their ships. 1 

The plenipotentiaries first invited representatives of the Emperor 
of China to meet them at Shanghai, whither they proceeded ; but, 
no one appearing there, they went on to the mouth of the Peiho, 
where Lord Elgin anchored on April 14th, 1858. A commissioner 
named Tan was sent down to the town of Taku to negotiate, or 
rather, no doubt, to procrastinate. Soon, however, it became appa- 
rent that the enemy had no serious intention of treating on such 
lines as would be agreeable to the allies. Seymour and Rigault de 
Genouilly reached the mouth of the river in April ; but part of the 
naval force was slow in making the rendezvous, owing to bad 
weather, the lateness of the monsoon, and the small steam power of 
some of the gunboats ; and the Admirals were only just ready to act 
when, on May 19th, recognising the uselessness of further delay, the 
plenipotentiaries placed the matter in the hands of their fighting 

The British screw gun-vessels, Nimrod, 6, and Cormorant, 4, 
with the French gunboats Dragonne, Fusee, Avalanche, and 
Mitraille, had already lain for several days within the bar, and 
within easy shot of the forts, though a little below them. On the 

1 Chevalier, 305. 




evening of the 19th these craft were joined by the small gun- 
boats Slaney, bearing during the attack the flags of both Admirals, 
Firm, Opossum, Leven, Staunch, and Bustard ; the Slaney, Firm, 
Staunch, and Bustard having British, and the Leven and Opossum 
French landing parties on board. 

" The Chinese," says Seymour, " have used every exertion to strengthen the forts at 
the entrance of the Peiho. Earthworks, sandbag batteries, and parapets for the heavy 
gingals, have been erected on both sides for a distance of nearly a mile in length, upon 
which eighty-seven guns in position were visible ; and the whole shore had been piled ' 
to oppose a landing. As the channel is only about 200 yards wide, and runs within 
400 yards of the shore, these defences presented a formidable appearance. Two strong 
mud batteries, mounting respectively thirty-three and sixteen guns, had been also con- 
structed about 1000 yards up the river, in a position to command our advance. In the 
rear several intrenched camps were visible, defended by flanking bastions." 2 

At 8 A.M. on May 20th, Captain William King Hall and the 
French Flag-Captain Eeynaud delivered to Commissioner Tan a 
summons to deliver up the forts within two hours. By 10 o'clock 
no reply had arrived ; and a signal was hoisted for the attack to be 
made in the prescribed order, Commander Thomas Saumarez (2) 3 
leading in the Cormorant, and being followed by the Mitraille, Fusee, 
Avalanche, Dragonne, Nimrod, and Slaney, successively, and by the 
five small gunboats. The vessels were directed not to fire until 
specifically ordered to do so ; and, while the Slaney, 2, Lieutenant 
Anthony Hiley Hoskins,* bearing the flags of both Admirals, placed 
herself where she could be of most service, and could best direct 
operations, the other craft, having on board, or towing, landing 
parties, British and French, which numbered in all 1178 officers and 
men, were told off as follows : 







Laudiug Party. 



Landing Party. 

Capt. Sir F. W. 

.Capt. W. K. Hall 

Br. Cormorant,} 
4 ... .1 
Fr. Jfitraille, 4 

Com. Thomas 
Saumarez (i) 
Com. Berauger 

E. Nicolson Fr. Avalanche,! 
(Pique"). 4 . . . J 
Capt. Sherard Fr. Dragonne, i 
Osborn. C.B. 4 . . . .) 

Com. Lafund 
Com. Barry 

Com. Chas. T. 
Leckle (Fury). 
Com. Jas. G. 

Fulee, 4 . 

iCom. Gabrielli 
1 de Carpegua 

(Furious). Br. Ximrod, 6 
Com. S. G. Cress- ,, Opossum, 2 



Lieut. E. G. 

Br. Staunch, 2 

/Lieut. Leveson 
t \Vildman 

wdliSurprite). \ , 
Major Robt. Boyle, ' " Lxien ' * 

(Lieut. Jos. S. 
I Hudson 

M'Callum, R.M. 

Bustard, 2 

/Lieut. Fred';. ; 
t Wm.Hallowes 

R.M. ; Firm, 2 . 


Capt. Reynaud 

Capt. Leve'que 

\ (IWgeton). 

1 I.e., lined with piles driven into the mud. 
3 Posted, July 27th, 1858. 

2 See plan, p. 126. 

4 Com., Feb. 26th, 1858. 


The Cormorant led off at full speed ; and the Chinese opened fire 

almost immediately. Although Saumarez was somewhat checked 

by warps which the enemy had thrown across the river, and which 

he broke, his French consorts did not keep pace with him, and, in 

consequence, suffered more than he did. The signal to engage was 

quickly made from the Slaney ; and, ere the vessels had anchored 

in their assigned positions, the effect of the return fire was very 

apparent, the shells bursting well in the embrasures, and dispersing 

men, guns, and carriages. The smaller vessels passed beyond 

the forts, and landed their parties on both banks on the flanks 

of the Chinese positions, while the larger craft, opposite the forts, 

occupied their direct attention. On the south side, the first 

fort was entirely dismantled and abandoned, and the second 

one partially so ; and on the north side, the Cormorant and her 

French consorts completely crushed opposition. At the end of an 

hour and a quarter, the Chinese fire almost ceased. The landing 

then took place, the Admirals themselves joining Captain Hall's 

party ; and the enemy ran. Fifty yards of mud, two feet deep, 

had, however, to be floundered through ere the works could be 

reached. In a few minutes they were covered with flags, for 

half the French officers had tricolors in their pockets. Soon 

afterwards, the French sustained severe losses by the accidental 

explosion of a magazine. During the operations the enemy 

sent down numerous junks full of flaming straw ; but the Bustard 

drove off the people who were trying to guide them by means 

of ropes from the shore ; and the craft burnt themselves out 


After the action, Nicolson and Leveque moved up against two 
other forts on the north side, the 33- and 16-gun forts described 
by Seymour ; and, supported by the fire of the Bustard, Staunch, 
and Opossum, took them with but slight loss, and also destroyed 
some entrenched camps in their vicinity. Everything was over 
by 2 P.M. When the necessary arrangements had been made at 
the mouth of the river, the force advanced to the town of Taku, 
which was occupied by Captain King Hall, Flag-Lieutenant 
Michael Culme-Seymour, and a party. Eighteen field-pieces were 
found there ; and opposite the place was a boom of junks filled 
with combustibles, which was burnt on the 21st. The British 
loss in the fighting of the 20th was only 4 killed, including the 
Carpenter of the Fury, and 16 wounded, including Second-Master 


Charles Prickett, 1 of the Opossum. The French, however, had 67 
killed and wounded. 2 

On May 23rd, Seymour, in the Coromandel, with two other 
British gunboats, and Rigault de Genouilly in the Avalanche, with 
the Fusee, moved slowly up the river, towing a number of manned 
boats, and burning all the stacks of straw and small timber which 
might have been used for loading incendiary vessels. Such junks 
as were met with were ordered out of the river ; and those which 
did not promptly obey the order were destroyed, so that the enemy 
should not be left with vessels out of which he could improvise 
fireships. A few shells also were fired at bodies of troops ; but 
otherwise no hostile acts were committed by the allies, who arrived 
on May 26th at Tientsin, where there was no resistance. 3 

The Court of Pekin was at last seriously impressed, and sent 
down to the Admirals a note announcing that a high official, armed 
with full powers, would instantly appear to treat. Lord Elgin and 
Baron Gros reached Tientsin in the Slaney on May 30th, and were 
followed, at an interval of twenty-four hours, by the ministers of the 
United States and of Bussia. In the meantime, reinforcements had 
been sent to the mouth of the Peiho ; and 1000 British troops, together 
with 500 French, were forwarded to Tientsin, which they garrisoned. 
There was no further dallying ; and peace was signed on June 27th. 

The treaty of Tientsin contained no fewer than 56 articles, its 
most important provisions stipulating for : the confirmation of the 
treaty of Nankin ; the appointment of a British minister to Pekin ; 
his right of access to the Secretary of State at Pekin on a footing of 
equality ; toleration of Christianity ; the opening to travellers of all 
parts of China ; the opening, as ports, of Chinkiang, and three other 
ports on the Yang-tse-kiang, besides Niuchang, Tungchow, Taiwan, 
Swatow, and Kiungchow ; a revised tariff ; the visiting by British 
ships of war of any port in the Empire ; the concerting of measures 
for the repression of piracy ; and the arrangement of an indemnity. 

1 Master, Sept. 17th, 1858. 

2 Seymour's disp. in Gazette of July 27th : Chevalier, 306 : Corr. of III. Lond. News, 
and Times. 

3 There was, nevertheless, some friction ere the negotiations were completed. 
Seymour was hooted while walking in the town, and on the following day Capt. 
Eoderick Dew and Com. Saumarez were pelted with stones ; whereupon the Com.-in- 
Chief ordered the Marines into the place. The Chinese endeavoured to keep them out 
by shutting the gates ; but Capt. Sherard Osborn and Com. Saumarez scaled the walls 
with their boats' crews, and admitted the Marines, who marched through the town. 
Hand's Journal : L. Oliphant's ' Earl of Elgin's Mission.' 


It looked as if all difficulties were settled, and as if all possible 
causes of future difficulty were removed. The forts on the river 
were destroyed and evacuated ; and presently the allies withdrew 
from the Gulf of Pechili. But appearances were deceptive. The 
authority of Pekin did not suffice to coerce immediately the mandarins 
in all other parts of the Empire ; and in many districts there was 
at the time open rebellion. Canton was besieged, and repeatedly 
assaulted ; on July 3rd men from the Sanspareil had to be landed 
to reinforce the army of occupation ; and on July 19th, a cutter 
belonging to the Amethyst, 26, Captain Sidney Grenfell, manned by 
eight seamen and a Marine, under Master Richard Cossantine Dyer, 
while in chase of a junk in the Canton river, was attacked by a 
mandarin row-galley, with seventeen men armed with gingals, 
rockets, and stinkpots, and defended by iron plates in the vessel's 
bow. Dyer made an excellent fight of it for half an hour, and killed 
13 of his assailants, while no one in his boat was hurt. The British 
made every effort to disseminate the fact and terms of the treaty among 
the natives ; but it was extremely dangerous to do so ; and an 
outrage perpetrated on a party from the Starling, 2, Lieutenant 
Arthur Julian Villiers, and Nankin, involving the killing of one 
seaman, and the wounding of two more at Namtao, near Hong Kong, 
obliged Commodore the Hon. Keith Stewart (2), of the Nankin, 50, 
and General van Straubenzee to adopt severe punitive measures, and 
to occupy the town on August llth. In this affair, in addition to 
the troops, the Samson, and five gunboats with a brigade from the 
Sanspareil, Cormorant, and Adventure, were engaged. Among those 
who distinguished themselves in the action were Captain Julian 
Foulston Slight 1 (Sanspareil), Commander Thomas Saumarez (2) 
(Cormorant), and acting-Commander Edward Madden 2 (Sanspareil), 
the last of whom was severely wounded. Two brass guns, each 
weighing about 30 cwt., were brought off, and the place was pillaged 
and partially burnt. 3 

I' Lord Elgin went on a diplomatic mission to Japan ; and, on 
his return, started from Hong Kong on November 8th upon an 
expedition up the Yang-tse-kiang as far as Hankow, a city seven 
hundred miles from the sea. Nankin and its neighbourhood was 
in the hands of the Ti-ping rebels. The Ti-pings were perfectly 
prepared to be friendly ; but, on November 20th, misunderstanding 

1 Posted, Ap. 28th, 1858. 2 Com. Aug. lith, 1858. 

3 Hand's Journal : IE. Land. News, Oct. 16th. 


the objects of the gunboat Lee, 2, Lieutenant William Henry Jones, 
which had been sent ahead of the squadron to communicate if 
possible, their batteries opened fire on her; whereupon the other 
vessels of the escort, the Retribution, 28, paddle, Captain Charles 
Barker, Furious, 16, paddle, Captain Sherard Osborn, Cruiser, 17, 
screw, Commander John Bythesea, and Dove, 2, Lieutenant Charles 
James Bullock, attacked them, causing considerable loss. 1 There 
were one or two other collisions with the Ti-pings during this ex- 
pedition, notably on the following day, when the ships returned and 
re-engaged the Nankin forts, and on November 26th at Nganking ; 
and, although it is now known that the rebels were acting under 
misapprehension, they were reported not only as having fired upon 
the British flag, but also as having violated a flag of truce, 2 which 
it is clear they did riot know to be one. These affairs, and the 
somewhat similar trouble with the Hermes in 1853, were largely 
responsible for the attitude taken later by Great Britain with regard 
to a movement which was one of the most extraordinary of the 
century, and which, if assisted instead of discouraged, might perhaps 
have effected the regeneration of China, and saved the powers of 
Europe from much subsequent perplexity. 

In the interim various ships under the orders of the Commander- 
in-Chief had been active in repressing the piracy which had begun 
to flourish anew during the prolonged hostilities. 

On August 4th, 1858, the gunboat Staunch, Lieutenant Leveson 
Wildman, 3 while on passage from Shanghai to Hong Kong, chased 
three pirate junks off Taon Pung, and endeavoured to lash " herself 
alongside the largest of them, but was driven off by a shower of 
stinkpots, and lost a gallant seaman, Edward George, who had 
leapt on board the enemy in order to secure her to the Staunch. 
Wildman had only two 24-pr. howitzers on board ; and they were 
quickly dismounted, owing to being fired rapidly ; but he remounted 
them, renewed ' the engagement, boarded and captured another 
of the junks, and, leaving her in charge of Second-Master George 
Morice, chased the third in his gig, and took her also. The big 
junk got away. 

On August 22nd, 1858, Commander Samuel Gurney Cresswell, 4 

1 In the Retribution Mids. Geo. Anthony Wyrley Birch lost an arm, and a blue- 
jacket a leg. There were no other casualties. 

2 Wade's Report. ' Ti-ping Tien-Kwoh,' I. 220. North China Herald (ace. by an 
officer of the squadron). L. Oliphant. 

3 Com., Oct. 15th, 1858. 4 Posted, Sept. 17th, 1858. 


with his screw gunboat the Surprise, 4, her boats, and the boats of 
the Cambrian, 40, attacked a number of heavily-armed piratical junks 
under Lingting Island, near Hong Kong. The enemy opened fire 
at 1600 yards as the Surprise approached ; but she did not return 
it until within 1000 yards; when she steadily poured in shot and 
shell, and gradually closed under a storm of round shot and rockets, 
canister and grape. In the meantime, the Cambrian's boom boats, 
under Lieutenant John Whitmarsh Webb, 1 went in-shore of the 
gunboat, and took the enemy in flank. The action began at 8 A.M. 
By 8.35 the pirates' fire had slackened ; and, at about 9, two of 
their largest lorchas blew up. Firing then ceased ; whereupon 
Cresswell pushed in with his own boats, joined the boats of the 
Cambrian, and landed' near the junks, just after the crews of the 
latter had deserted their vessels and fled to the hills. Advancing 
to the top of a ridge, the British discovered some more piratical 
craft in a snug creek on the other side of it, and, from their com- 
manding position, killed a number of the people with their rifles, 
and drove off the rest. The sun was so hot that Cresswell, deter- 
mining to spare his men as much as possible, returned to the gun- 
boat, which, with the boats in tow, he took round to the creek. 
Having fired a few shells, he sent in the boats. No serious resist- 
ance was offered, though there was a little sniping from the neigh- 
bouring hills ; and the work of burning such junks as could not 
be moved, and of bringing out the remainder, was accomplished 
without difficulty. Of twenty-six piratical craft at the island, 
nineteen were destroyed, and seven were carried to Hong Kong. 

A third operation of a similar kind was conducted by Captain 
Nicholas Vansittart, C.B., of the Magicienne, 16, paddle, who, with 
the Inflexible, 6, paddle, Commander George Augustus Cooke 
Brooker, Plover, 2, screw, Lieutenant Eobert James Wynniatt, 
and Algerine, 2, Lieutenant William Arthur, between August 26th 
and September 3rd, 1858, destroyed Coulan, an old piratical head- 
quarters, together with a 14-gun stockade, 26 armed junks, and 74 
row-boats, mounting 236 guns ; and killed 372 pirates. 2 

In April, 1859, Bear- Admiral Sir Michael Seymour (2) returned to 
England, upon the expiration of his term of service, and his super- 
session by Bear-Admiral James Hope, C.B. ; and on May 20th he 
was rewarded for his work in China with a G-.C.B. Hope was 
soon confronted with difficulties, most of which arose out of the 

1 Com., Nov. 5th, 1858. 2 Seymour's dispo. Gazette, Nov. 2, 1858. 




fact that the Chinese placed one construction upon the terms of 
the treaty of Tientsin, while the British and French placed another. 
Lord Elgin had also returned to England ; and in his stead, as 
Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, his brother, the Hon. 
Frederick W. A. Bruce, had been sent out to proceed to Pekin, with 
the new French envoy, M. de Bourboulon, who arrived in the 
corvette Ducliayla, accompanied by the dispatch vessel Norzagaray. 


(By pernlliaioii ofJIr. T. McLean, from the engraving by T. Dmeu, after the [xiintimj 
bij Sudneij Hudyes, at Greenwich.} 

Hope, with a squadron, 1 and the French vessels, arrived off the 
island of Sha-lui-tien, in the gulf of Pechili, on June 17th, 1859 ; 
and, on the following day, proceeded to the mouth of the Peiho 
in order, as he explains, to intimate to the local authorities the 
intended appearance of the ministers, and to reconnoitre "the 

1 Chesapeake, 51, screw (flag), Magicienne, 16, padd., Highflyer, 21, screw, Cruiser, 17, 
screw, Fury, 6, padd., Assistance, screw store-ship, Hesper, screw store-ship, and the 
gun-vessels and gunboats named later in the; text. 


existing state of the defences of the river." These last seemed 
to consist principally of the reconstruction, in earth, and in an 
improved form, of the works destroyed in 1858, with additional 
ditches and abattis. There were, moreover, stronger and better 
booms across the channel. Few guns were seen ; but numerous 
embrasures were masked with matting, obviously in order to conceal 
what was behind them. 1 

The officer who was sent on shore to communicate was met 
by a guard, and assured that there were no officials nearer than 
Tientsin. He was prevented from landing ; but, on telling the 
people that the Commander-in-Chief desired that the obstructions 
in the river should be removed to enable the envoys to go up to 
Tientsin, he was promised that the necessary work of clearing 
should be begun within the next forty-eight hours. On June 19th, 
the whole squadron was moved to the anchorage off the mouth of 
the river ; and the smaller craft were sent inside the bar. On the 
20th, Hope again examined the channel ; and, finding that nothing 
had been done towards carrying out the promise of the- 18th, he 
addressed a letter to the Taotai at Tientsin, repeating the announce- 
ment of the arrival of the envoys, and the request for free passage. 
To this letter an evasive answer was returned on the 22nd. 

In the meantime, Bruce and de Bourboulon had formally desired 
Hope to take the matter into his own hands, and to adopt such 
measures as he might deem expedient for opening the way up. 
Hope, in consequence, informed the Taotai that, if the obstructions 
were not removed, he should remove them, using force if needful. 
This communication received no answer ; and on June 24th, the 
whole of the rest of the squadron was taken inside the bar ; and 
intimation was sent in to the effect that unless a satisfactory 
answer were received by 8 P.M., the Bear-Admiral would feel at 
liberty to take his own course. 

There were three booms or obstructions. The first, or lowest, 
was of iron piles; the second was of heavy spars of wood, appar- 
ently moored head and stern, and cross-lashed with cables ; the 
third consisted of large timber baulks, well cross-lashed together, 
tied with irons, and forming a mass about 120 feet wide and 3 feet 
deep. It was made in two overlapping pieces, as indicated in the 
plan ; and the opening between these might have just admitted the 

1 It was generally believed that the new defences were the work of Russian 




passage of a gunboat, though the strength of the current would have 
rendered it difficult and even dangerous for such a craft to attempt 
to get through. 

That night three boats, under Captain George Ommanney Willes, 
of the Chesapeake, passing through or circumventing the first boom, 
pulled up to the second, and cut one, and blew away with powder 
two, of the cables forming part of it. The boats he had with him 
were one from the Chesapeake, under Lieutenant John Crawford 
Wilson, one from the Magicienne, under acting-Mate Frederick 


Wilbraham Egerton, and one from the Cruiser, under Boatswain 
W. Hartland. Before the return of the party, Willes examined 
the third or inner boom ; and, in consequence of his report on it, 
the Eear-Admiral concluded that he would not be able to pass the 
works and attack them from above, but must attack them, if at 
all, from the front, and, upon silencing them, endeavour to carry 
them by storm. By morning, the Chinese had repaired the damage 
done overnight to the second boom. Hope determined to try to 
carry out both plans, and to employ the following craft : 

(all screw). 



Opossum, g.-b. 


KCapt. Geo. 0. Willes.) 

Starling, g.-b 
Janus, g.-b 

Plover, g.-b 

Cormorant, g.-v. . 
Lee, g.-b. ... 




\Lieut. Chas. Jno. Balfour. 
Lieut. Arth. Julian Villiers. 
Lieut. Herbert Price Knevitt. 
((R.-Adm. James Hope, C.B.) 
(Lieut. Wm. Hector Rason. 
Com. Armine Wodehouse. 
Lieut. Wm. Hy. Jones 

Kestrel, g.-b 


Lieut. Geo. Dacres Bevan. 

Bantercr, ^.-b 


Lieut. John Jenkins 

Forester, g.-b 


Lieut. Arthur Jno. Innes. 

Haughty, g.-b. . . . 
Nimrod, sip 


Lieut. Geo. Doherty Broad. 
Lieut. Robt. Jas. Wynniatt (actg.-Com.). 

The above nine gunboats varied from about 235 to about 270 tons (B.M.) and 
seem to have carried each one 68-pr. of 95 cwt., and one 32-pr. of 56 cwt., besides, in 
some cases at least, two howitzers. Their proper complements were about forty, all 
told, but extra officers and men were in most of them. The remaining two vessels 
(Cormorant and Nimrod) were considerably more powerful. 


The morning of June 25th was occupied in putting these vessels 
into position. The Starling, Janus, Plover, Cormorant, Lee, -Kestrel, 
and Banter er were stationed on a line parallel with the works on the 
south side, or right bank, of the river ; and the Nimrod was put in 
rear of that line, with her guns bearing on the more distant north 
fort. The Opossum was stationed in advance, close up to the boom 
of piles; and the Forester and Haughty were in reserve in rear of 
the line, the former having orders to move up to the Plover's post, 
should that vessel advance to the support of the Opossum. 


at the Jtfoutti of the 

23 *" JUNE: /8 59. 

The vessels on the right were under, the direction of Captain 
Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell of the Highflyer, and those 
on the left, under Captain Nicholas Vansittart, of the Mctgicienne. 
The strength of the tide, and the narrowness of the channel (about 
200 yards) had rendered it a matter of extreme difficulty to take up 
the positions above described ; and the Banterer and Starling, the 
vessels on the extreme right and left of the line, both took the 
ground, the former in a good position, but the latter in one which, 
unfortunately, prevented her from taking much share in the action. 

At 2 P.M. the Opossum was ordered to open a passage through 


the first barrier. She made fast a hawser to one of the iron piles, 
and, hy 2.30, had pulled it out ; whereupon, supported by the Plover, 
and closely followed by the Lee and Haughty, she moved up to the 
second boom. As she reached it, the forts opened a simultaneous 
fire from between thirty and forty guns, ranging from 32-prs. to 8-in. 
pieces. Hope at once ordered the ships to engage. 

It was a hot day, with a clear blue sky ; and the Chinese had 
the range to a nicety. The Plover posted herself close to the barrier, 
with the Opossum, Lee, and Haughty, in succession, astern of her. 
By 3 P.M., the four craft inside the outer barrier had suffered severely, 
and were rapidly becoming disabled. The Plover had lost her gallant 
young commander, Rason, who was cut in two by a round shot, and 
whose place was temporarily taken by George Amelius Douglas, 
Hope's Flag-Lieutenant. In her also fell Captain T. M'Kenna, of the 
1st Eoyals, who was attached to the Major-General commanding the 
forces in China ; and among her wounded were the Rear- Admiral 


himself, and Second-Master John Phillips (acting) . The four vessels 
were, consequently, dropped down l into fresh positions below the 
first barrier, where, having received fresh men, they renewed the 
action. The Plover was so badly mauled that Hope shifted his flag 
from her to the Cormorant ; and at 4.20, finding himself too weak 
for the work, he was obliged to summon Captain Shadwell, and to 
entrust him with the more immediate command of the squadron. 

It should be mentioned here that the French dispatch vessel 
Norzagaray was not armed in such a manner as to enable her to 
share in the attack ; and that the Duchayla drew too much water 
for the purpose. Although, therefore, the French were as much 
concerned as the British in asserting the right of free passage for 
their representative to Tientsin, they bore no part in this naval 
attack ; at which, indeed, they were represented only by Commander 

1 The Plover dropped down because her cables were cut by shot ; and she drifted 
unmanageable until she grappled the Cormorant, and so brought herself up. 


Tricault, of the Duchayla, who attached himself to the Commander- 
in-Chief , and remained with him until the landing. The Americans 
and Russians, less intimately concerned, were not represented at all ; 
and, in fact, were professedly neutral. 

At 5.40 the Kestrel sank in her position ; and the Lee had to be 
put upon the mud to save her from the like fate. At about that 
time, or a little before, 1 there occurred an incident which has ever 
since most happily affected the relations between the two great 
English-speaking nations. 

The Cormorant, flying the Rear-Admiral's flag, lay with her 
port broadside facing, and engaging, the works on the right bank. 
Lashed on her starboard side was the almost disabled Plover, in 
such a manner that the latter's bow gun cleared the Cormorant's 
bows by a yard or so, and could be fired across them at the forts. 
The Banterer was aground on the Plover's starboard bow; the 
Haughty lay across the Cormorant's stern ; and the Lee was aground 
on the Haughty' s port quarter. The Plover's bow gun was almost 
silent, partly because many men had been killed or wounded while 
serving it, and partly because the survivors were almost worn out 
with fatigue. 

The firing was still very hot on both sides, when up the river 
came a double-banked cutter, flying the Stars and Stripes in the 
stern. In her was Flag-Officer Josiah Tatnall, of the United States' 
navy, senior American officer in Chinese waters, who had pulled up 
from his flag-ship below the bar, in spite of the storm of shot. He 
had fought against the British in the war of 1812. His coxswain 
took him alongside the Plover's starboard gangway ; and, even as 
the bow-man was getting out his boat-hook, the coxswain was hit 
by a Chinese projectile. Tatnall boarded the Plover, crossed her 
bloody deck, and went to visit Hope, who was lying wounded in the 
Cormorant's cabin. He expressed his sympathy ; said that he trusted 
he might be of some use in removing and tending the numerous 
wounded; and remained for a short time with 'the British Com- 
naander-in-Chief. While he was in the Cormorant's cabin, his boat 
lay under the Plover's shelter ; and her men watched the Plover's 
weary bluejackets working intermittently at the bow gun. At length, 
one of the Americans, and then others, climbed shyly on deck, and 
began to help, saying little or nothing, but gradually relieving the 

1 It may have been as early as 4.40 P.M. Accounts of those present vary as to the" 
exact time. 


1859.] 11EPULSE IN THE PEIHO. 129 

proper gun's crew, until the gun was wholly manned by Tatnall's 
men. They had fired it at least once when Tatnall reappeared. 

" Hulloa there ! " he cried, somewhat sharply, as he crossed the 
Plover's deck to the gangway ; " don't you know that we are 
neutrals ? ' ' 

" Beg pardon, sir," said one of the Americans, drawing off 
shamefacedly with his mates to the boat, " they were very short- 
handed at the bow-gun ; and so we thought we'd lend them a hand 
for fellowship's sake." 

By 6.30 the fire from the north forts had ceased altogether; and 
by 7, that from the south ones was also silent, save that a single 
gun in the outer, another in the centre bastion, and a third in the 
detached fort on the south continued to ply the ships with shot. 

A landing force, chiefly made up of about 350 Marines and a 
few bluejackets, was brought from the vessels below the bar. There 
is strong evidence that Tatnall's steam boat, the Toey-whan, was 
allowed to assist in towing part of it up the river, though, no doubt, 
the nominal mission of the little craft was to fetch wounded from 
the gunboats below the barrier. 

At 7.20 P.M. a landing was effected opposite the outer bastion of 
the south fort, the spot being selected because it seemed to have 
suffered most, and because an attack there could be best supported 
by the guns of the squadron. The force consisted of a detachment 
of Sappers and Miners, under Major Fisher, R.E., a brigade of 
Marines, under Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Lemon, a division of 
seamen under Captain Vansittart, assisted by Commanders John 
Edmund Commerell, V.C., and William Andrew James Heath, and 
a small body of French seamen under Commander Tricault ; the 
whole being under the orders of Captain Shadwell. 

The party was met by a heavy fire from guns, gingals, and rifles, 
and, in addition, had terrible obstacles to contend with in the shape 
of stakes planted in the shallows and mud, and two, if not three, 
ditches. In the advance, Shadwell, Vansittart, and Lemon, with 
many others, were disabled, and the command devolved upon Com- 
merell. About 150 officers and men struggled as far as the second 
ditch, and about 50 even got close under the wall of the fort ; but, 
although those positions might have been held for a time, further 
advance, or a storm, was impossible without reinforcements. Such 
was Commerell's unwilling conclusion after he had consulted with 
Fisher, Tricault, and Captain Eichard Parke, E.M. ; and he reported 



it to Shadwell, who ordered a retirement. This was effected in the 
darkness with the utmost deliberation and coolness, the force pro- 
ceeding to the boats in detachments, and bringing off its wounded. 
It was accomplished by 1.30 A.M. on June 26th, the last to leave 
the shore being Commerell and Heath. 

The Kestrel, Starling, and Banterer were raised or floated. 
The Lee became a total loss. After the action the Plover grounded 
within range of the forts, and, being necessarily abandoned, was 
also lost. The Cormorant went to her assistance, and grounded. 
She got off again on the night of the 27th, but piled up once more 
while endeavouring to move down, and on the 28th was swept by 
such a heavy fire that she presently sank. 

This lamentable affair, therefore, cost the Navy three vessels. 
The expenditure of human life was even more serious. No fewer 
than 25 officers and men were killed ; 39 others were badly wounded ; 
and 54 more received slighter injuries, during the preliminary attack ; 
and the subsequent landing, and attempted capture of the south 
forts added to the total 64 officers and men killed ; 162 badly 
wounded ; and 90 slightly wounded. The whole British casualties, 
therefore, amounted to the appalling number of 89 killed, and 345 
wounded a much heavier loss than that suffered by the entire 
British fleet at the famous battle of Cape St. Vincent, in 1797. In 
addition, the French had 4 killed, and 10 wounded. 

Among the officers killed were : Lieuts. William Hector Rason (comdg. Plover), 
Alfred Graves (Assistance), and Charles Henry Clutterbuck (Chesapeake); 
Lieuts. (R.M.) Hamilton Wolrige, and Henry Langton Tollemache Inglis ; 
Capt. T. M'Kenna (1st Royals); and Mids. T. H. Herbert (Chesapeake). 

Among the officers severely wounded were : Rear- Admiral James Hope, C.B. ; 
Capts. Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell, C.B. (Highflyer), and Nicholas 
Vansittart, 1 C.B. (Magicienne) ; actg.-Lieut. Claude Edward Buckle (Magi- 
cienne); Master Augustus John Burniston (Banterer); actg.-Mate Nathaniel 
Bowden Smith (Chesapeake) ; Midshipmen Armand Temple Powlett (Fury), 
and G. Armytage (Cruiser); Gunner W. Ryan (Plover); Lieut.-Col. Thomas 
Lemon, R.M. ; Capt. William Godfrey Rayson Masters, R.M. ; Lieut. John 
Chesterton Crawford, R.M.A. ; Lieut. G. Longley, R.E. ; and the Rev. H. 
Huleatt, Chaplain to the Forces. 

Rear-Admiral Hope, in his dispatch, mentioned with commendation Capts. 
C. F. A. Shadwell, N. Vansittart, and George Ommanney Willes ; Commanders 
John Edmund Commerell, William Andrew James Heath, and Armine Wode- 
house ; Lieuts. John Jenkins, Robert James Wynniatt, Arthur John Innes, 
George Dacres Bevan, William Henry Jones, Charles John Balfour, George 
Doherty Broad, Herbert Price Knevitt, George Parsons (2), and John Crawford 
.Wilson; Master William Donaldson Strong; Mates Claude Edward Buckle, 

1 Capt. Vansittart succumbed to his injuries. 


George Spotswood Peard, Frederick Edwaid Gould, and Visct. Kilcoursie ; 
Mids. G. Annytage and Charles Lister Oxley ; Paymaster and Secretary James 
William Murray Ashby ; Asst.-Paymaster John St. John Wagstaffe ; Second- 
Master Oscar Samson ; Staff-Surg. Walter Dickson (2) M.D. ; Surg. John 
Little, M.B. ; Asst.-Surg. William James Baird, M.D. ; Lieut.-Col. Thomas 
Lemon, B.M., Capts. (K.M.) Richard Parke, W. G. R. Masters, and Ponsonby 
May Carew Croker ; Lieuts. (R.M.) Langham Rokeby, John Frederick 
Hawkey, Harry Lewis Evans, and John Straghan ; Sergt.-Maj. Woon, R.M., 
Q. M. Sergt. Hailing, R.M.; Major Fisher, R.E., and Lieuts. (R.E.) J. M. 
Maitland and G. Longley. 1 

As this hotly contested action resulted in a defeat, those who 
participated in it were never directly rewarded by the issue of medals 
or clasps, the granting of honours, or promotion ; yet it must be 
admitted that, as, indeed, the exceedingly heavy loss indicates, 
officers and men behaved in a manner which added distinctly to 
the glories of the Navy, and which could have been scarcely more 
creditable had victory rewarded their efforts. The attack failed, 
firstly, because the narrowness of the channel, and the artificial 
obstructions crippled the usefulness of the ships, and, secondly, 
because the assault, a frontal one, was made over most difficult 
ground against works which were supposed, but wrongly supposed, 
to have been silenced ; and was attempted with insufficient force. It 
must also be admitted that, as usual, the British were very ignorant 
of the exact strength and dispositions of the enemy. 

" After the retirement," writes a distinguished officer who was 
present, " the Coroinandel received as many wounded as she could 
stow; and the rest were sent down by boats towed by the U.S. 
steamer Toey-whan, obligingly placed at our disposal by Flag-Officer 
Tatnall, in, as he put it, ' the cause of humanity.' This is when the 
expression, ' Blood is thicker than water,' was used by him to my 
chief, Sir James Hope. It was on the day after the action." 

As the officer from whom I quote this was the Bear-Admiral's 
Secretary, there can be no doubt that Tatnall used the expression on 
the occasion referred to ; but there is some evidence that he also 
used it on the day of the action ; and also that his men used it 
when on board the Plover. I think, therefore, that, in all probability, 
it was an habitual expression with Tatnall at the time, and that it 
was imitated by his people. 

Tatnall, it may be added, took the unfortunate side in the struggle 

1 Hope's disp. of July oth. The above account is the result also of conversation and 
correspondence with numerous officers who were present. See, too, Chevalier, 328 ; and 
corr. in Times. 

K 2 


which soon afterwards so nearly rent his country permanently in 
twain ; and, in consequence of his action, he was obliged to withdraw 
to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he lived in something approaching 
poverty. His attitude to the British in China in 1859 was not, I am 
pleased to say, forgotten by those whom he had befriended. As soon 
as his misfortunes were known in the Navy, a number of -officers 
who had served in China, and of others who remembered what had 
occurred there, subscribed a sum of money which, happily, saved the 
last days of Commodore Josiah Tatnall from absolute penury. 1 His 
name can never be forgotten in the British service. 

On July 3rd the British squadron repassed the Peiho bar, and 
proceeded to Shanghai, to allow the wounded opportunity to 
recover on shore, and to begin preparations for an attack on a more 
adequate scale, and so for repairing British prestige in China. 
Operations could not be resumed for twelve months. Both France 
and Great Britain decided to send out considerable bodies of troops 
from home, as well as large naval reinforcements ; flat-bottomed 
boats, rafts, and stages for landing the armies had to be constructed ; 
and not until June 25th, I860, did the expedition begin to concentrate 
in Talieriwan Bay, near Port Arthur, a spot which had been fixed 
upon for the purpose in consequence of representations made by 
Commander John Bythesea, of the Cruiser, who, in the interval, had 
thoroughly surveyed the Gulf of Pechili. 2 The forces ultimately 
assembled included about 12,600 British and Indian troops, under 
Lieutenant-General Sir Hope Grant, and nearly 8000 French under 
General Cousin de Montauban. Bear- Admiral James Hope 3 still 
commanded the British fleet on the station. Montauban left France 
with the title of " Commandant en Chef des Forces de Terre et de 
Mer " ; but the French government, preferring to imitate the arrange- 
ments of its ally, and to keep separate the naval and military 
commands, sent out after him Vice-Admiral Charner, who reached 
Shanghai on April 19th. Although, in the circumstances, such 
procedure was perhaps hardly necessary, war had been formally 
declared against China on April 8th, that power having previously 
refused reparation for its action in the Peiho in the summer of 1859. 

1 Letter to W.L.C. from the late Adm. Sir G. 0. Willes. 

2 Other surveys, which were most useful as preparation for the operations of August, 
were made by Com. John Ward (2), of the Actxon. Hope to Admlty., Aug. 27th, 

3 With temp, rank as Vice-Adm. 



One of the most troublesome questions to be settled by the 
admirals and generals was where best to disembark the army It 
was necessary to find a spot or spots where the water should be deep 
ough to allow the transports to approach within reasonable 
stance of the shore, and spots, moreover, where the coast should 
be less muddy, and more healthy, than the major part of the coast- 
hne of the Gulf of Peohili. It was at length arranged that the 
French army should land at a point to the south of the mouth of the 
Peiho, and should then proceed to attack the defences on the right 
bank of that river ; and that the British should disembark at Pehtang 
about nine miles to the northward of the river's mouth, and shoufd 
levote their attention to the defences on the left, or north bank : but 
the French soon found that they could not carry out their part of 
the agreement without some risk, and without exposing their troops 
the probability of being cut off from communication with their 
The result was that both armies were ultimately taken to 
ehtang. As had been the case at the time of the invasion of the 
Crimea, the French squadron was overcrowded with troops while 
the British war-ships, the army being in hired transports, were fit 
for anything that might befall, and were free and unencumbered 
Captain Chevalier expresses his strong sense of the advantages of 
s method, which, it may be hoped will be always followed when 
the British Navy and Army co-operate on any expedition of the kind 
mam part of the work done on this occasion was done by 
the allied armies ; and may, therefore, be passed over briefly here 

Pehtang stands at the mouth of the small river of the same name 
and on the south bank of it. To the south of the town is a con- 
siderable extent of hard ground; and from Pehtang, south-westward 
fein-ho, about five miles distant, ran a raised causeway, flanked on 
each side by a ditch. From Sin-ho south-eastward to Tong-ku a 
distance of little more than two miles, ran a somewhat similar 
causeway ; and from Tong-ku, when taken, the Peiho forts on the 
north side of the river could be approached and attacked from the 



The transports stood in towards the mouth of the Pehtan<x on 
August 1st, 1860. Some gunboats had previously entered the river 
and passed beyond two forts which overlooked the estuary it being 
intended that if these forts should assume a hostile attitude they 
should be shelled from above, a point from which no Chinese river 
forts of that day were capable of withstanding attack by water The 


forts were found to have been abandoned ; but one at least of them 
had been ingeniously mined in such a manner that any incautious 
entry by the troops would have caused an explosion. The dis- 
embarkation began at once at a point below the tract of hard ground 
about half a mile south of the town ; and the British, although by 
far the more numerous, completed the operation forty hours before 
the French, 1 chiefly in consequence of the foresight which had 
provided plenty of small craft capable of crossing the bar, on which, 
even at high tide, there were only ten feet of water. A battalion of 
Koyal Marines under Lieutenant-Colonel John Hawkins Gascoigne, 
and a battalion of French seamen joined the army, which, on August 
12th, marched to, and occupied Sin-ho, driving back a considerable 
body of the enemy, and taking two entrenched positions ; and, on 
the 14th, attacked and captured Tong-ku, 2 the Chinese then retiring 
into the northern forts, or across the river. On the right of the 
main force, during its advance, moved a smaller body under Brigadier- 
General Sir Eobert Cornelius Napier. 3 Grant advised Hope of his 
intention to attack the Taku northern forts on August 21st ; and, in 
order to co-operate, Hope and Charner, on the previous day, sent 
the French and British gunboats, and the rocket-boats of the fleet 
into the Peiho. 

When, at about daybreak on the 21st, the troops began to attack 
the inner fort on the north side, the vessels were prevented by the 
want of sufficient water from at once reaching the positions assigned 
to them ; and, indeed, the gunboat Dove, Lieutenant Charles James 
Bullock, temporarily bearing the flag of Bear-Admiral Lewis Tobias 
Jones, who was in immediate command of the operations in the 
river, grounded in six and a half feet ; and Jones had to transfer 
his flag to the Clown, Lieutenant William Frederick Lee. By six 
o'clock, however, the gunboats were able to open ; at 6.15 a shell 
blew up a magazine in the inner north fort ; and at 6.25 there 
was a similar explosion in the outer one. The Chinese fought well ; 
but at about 9 A.M. the inner north fort was stormed ; and although 
there was firing until near 11, the enemy then prudently relin- 
quished further efforts, and, having lost terribly, hoisted white flags 
on all the works that remained in his hands. 

In the afternoon, the outer north fort was taken possession of ; 
and in the evening, the south fort, which had been evacuated, was 

1 Chevalier, 343. * A party from the Chesapeake being present. 

3 Afterwards Lord Napier of Magdala. 


occupied, and the booms across the river were removed. The iron 
piles, however, which formed the outermost barrier, were fixed 
with so much firmness that a passage could not be opened through 
them until noon on the 22nd. The gunboats then passed through, 
and anchored off Tong-ku. In this affair the ships employed l had 
no casualties ; but the Marines who were with the army had 
1 killed, and 29 wounded. On the 23rd, the Coromandel, bearing 
the flag of Vice- Admiral James Hope, together with a number of 
British gunboats, and subsequently of, French ones, passed up to 
Tientsin, which, being destitute of troops and pacifically inclined, 
was occupied. 

Lieut. -Colonel Gascoigne, ia describing the work done by his 
battalion of Royal Marines, reported with approval the conduct 
of Lieut. -Colonel Joseph Gates Travers, Captains Jermyn Charles 
Symonds, John Charles Downie Morrison, and John Basset Prynne ; . 
Lieutenant T. Herbert Alexander Brenan ; Surgeon John Little, M.B. ; 
Assistant-Surgeon Doyle Money Shaw ; Sergeants Teacle, Knapp, 
and H. Trent ; Corporal Kelly ; and Privates Bray and Bowerman. 2 

On August 31st a mandarin of high rank reached Tientsin ; and 
Lord Elgin and Baron Gros entered into negotiations with him ; 
but on September 7th he was nowhere to be found. It therefore 
became necessary for the allied armies to advance upon Pekin. The 
Chinese attempted to cause further delay ; and two battles had to 
be fought ere they were finally induced to submit. Not until Pekin 
had been taken, and the palace burnt, did the enemy agree to the 
terms demanded ; and the Treaty of Pekin was concluded only on 
October 24th. During the advance up the river, the boats of the 
fleet 3 rendered immense assistance in transporting the siege train, 
and stores for the army. The treaty provided for the opening of 
Tientsin to commerce ; the occupation of that town, and of the 
Peiho Forts pending the payment of a certain proportion of an 
indemnity ; an apology from the Emperor ; the cession of Kowloon 
to Great Britain ; and the ratification of the previous treaty of 

1 Vessels employed in the Peiho, August 20th, and onwards : Coromandel, pad., 
temp, flag of V.-Ad. Hope, C.B. ; Dove, scr., temp, flag of R.-Adm. Lewis Tobias 
Jones, C.B. ; and (under Capt. Jas. Johnstone M'Cleverty, C.B.), Havock, scr., Staunch, 
scr., Opossum, scr., Forester, scr., and Algerine, scr. ; with (under Capt. Lord John 
Hay (3), C.B.), Clown, scr., Drake, scr., Woodcock, scr., and Janus, scr. ; besides 
rocket-boats contributed apparently by the Chesapeake, Cambrian, Centaur, Encounter, 
Imperieuse, Magicienne,, Odin, Pearl, Urgent, etc. Hope's disp. is very meagre. 

2 Gascoigne to Hope, Aug. 24th. 

3 Especially those of the Chesapeake, Cambrian, Imperieuse, Scout, and Simoon. 


Tientsin. In 1860, as at a later date, the Chinese distinguished 
themselves by their bad faith ; and their barbarous treatment of 
Messrs. Parkes, Loch, de Normann, Bowlby, and other Europeans 
who fell into their hands, rendered them totally undeserving of the 
merciful light in which their long course of misconduct was viewed 
when the time came for the exaction of penalties. The evacuation 
of Pekin was concluded on November 9th. 

In recognition of their services, Bear-Admiral Hope was at once 
made a K.C.B., 1 and a few officers were promoted, while a few 
others received honours at a somewhat later period. 2 The work 
done was not, however, very lavishly rewarded. A monument to 
those of Hope's flagship, the Chesapeake, who perished during the 
commission, 1857-61, has been erected on Clarence Esplanade, 

While the China War was in progress, some of the small craft 
on the station were busily occupied in dealing with the pirates, who, 
taking advantage of the situation, were particularly active up and 
down the coasts. Lieutenant Henry Knox Leet, first commanding 
the Firm, and afterwards the Slaneij, and Lieutenant Joseph Samuel 
Hudson, commanding the Leven, were among the officers who 
distinguished themselves in this branch of duty ; but many others 
might also be named. On the east coast of Africa, where the slave 
trade then flourished exceedingly, the Lynx, 4, screw, Lieutenant 
Henry Berkeley, was one of the most active cruisers. In the course 
of 1859 she also landed a small brigade to co-operate with a force 
from the East India Company's steamer Assay e in an attack upon 
some rebellious subjects of the Sultan of Zanzibar and in the 
destruction of a small fort. In 1860, the Torch, 5, screw, Com- 
mander Frederick Harrison Smith, began on the west coast a useful 
commission, in the course of which she captured seven slavers ; and 
some exploits of other vessels on that station will demand notice 
later. But the repression of piracy and slavery was by no means 
the only kind of minor service rendered by the Navy. In 1860, 
for example, Captain Thomas Miller, of the Clio, 22, screw, was 
instrumental in saving the city of Panama from capture by a mob, 
and in protecting some French subjects from infuriated negro 

1 Nov. 9th, 1860. 

2 E.g., Kear-Adm. Lewis Tobias Jones, a K.C.B. June 28th, 1861; Col. Jno. 
Hawkins Gascoigne, and Lt.-Col. Joseph Gates Travers, C.B.'s, Feb. 28th, 1861; 
Capt. Geo. Omraanney Willes, a O.B., July 16th, 1861. 

1857.] PERUVIAN PIRACY. 137 

rioters ; and a party of seamen and Marines from the Satellite, 21, 
screw, Captain James Charles Prevost, under Lieutenant Thomas 
Sherlock Gooch, was inarched many miles up country in British 
Columbia in order to overawe certain miners who were causing 
anxiety to the Government. 

During the Persian War of 1856-57, a few officers of the Royal 
Navy were employed in those vessels of the East India Company 
which were engaged along the Persian coast, especially at the 
capture of Eeshire fort on December 7th, and the occupation of the 
island of Karak, and of part of Bushire, on December 10th, 1856 ; 
but the Navy itself did not share in the operations, which were 
under the maritime direction of Sir Henry John Leeke, Kt., 1 and 
Commodore Ethersey, of the H. E. I. Co.'s navy. In the years 
1857-61, however, the repression of piracy in the Persian Gulf 
provided plenty of occupation for several of her Majesty's cruisers, 
among which may be mentioned the Ariel, 9, screw, Commander 
Charles Bromley, and the Lyra, 9, screw, Commander Eadulphus 
Bryce Oldfield. In the same years, in the West Indies, the Styx, 6, 
paddle, Commander Charles Vesey, rendered excellent service against 
the slavers in Cuban waters. 

Early in 1857, Peru was in the throes of one of its too frequent 
revolutions. A politician named Vivanco, who was said to possess 
the sympathies of the richer classes, and especially of the ladies, was 
engaged in an attempt to depose the President, General Eamon 
Castilla, who was supported by the army, and by the mass of the 
people. Vivanco's chief power lay in the fact an important one 
in a country having so large a sea-board as Peru that he had with 
him the greater part of the small Peruvian navy. On March 24th, 
Vice-Admiral Henry William Bruce, Commander-in-Chief on the 
Pacific station, being then in the Monarch, 84, at Callao, received 
intelligence to the effect that two of Vivanco's war-steamers, the 
Loa and the Tumbes,' 2 had stopped the British mail-steamer New 
Grenada, while on her way to Panama, and, having boarded her, 
had taken from her 32,000 dollars, besides sundry goods, which, 
though shipped in the names of merchants at Valparaiso, had in 
reality been sent by Castilla to supply his troops in the northern 

1 A Capt, R.N., of 1826, who had become a rear-adm. on reserved half-pay in 
1854, and who died in 1870. 

2 Gunboats, built in England for Peru. The Loa had four long 32-prs., the Tumbes 
two, and a smaller brass gun. 


part of the republic. Bruce at once despatched the Pearl, 21, screw, 
Captain Edward Southwell Sotheby, in search of the delinquents ; 
and she sailed at noon on the 25th. Early on the 28th, Captain 
Sotheby found the rebel craft off Lambeyaque, and, going to 
quarters, steamed alongside them, and sent to the Loa, the senior 
officer's ship, a boat under Lieutenant Nicholas Edward "Brook 
Tumour, to demand the stolen money and goods, and the officers 
and men who had taken them. In default, the surrender of both 
craft was required within five minutes. As the money had been 
distributed, it could not be returned. The two Peruvian captains, 
therefore, wisely surrendered. The people who had not been im- 
plicated personally in the outrage were allowed the option of going 
ashore or of being carried to Callao ; Lieutenant Seymour Walter 
Delme Eadcliffe was given charge of the Loa, and Lieutenant 
Henry Duncan Grant, of the Tiimbes ; and, with one prize on 
each quarter, the Pearl steamed back to Callao, arriving there on 
March 31st. One of the craft was quickly given back to her 
temporary owners ; the other was detained for some time as security 
that similar depredations should not be committed again. 1 

It has been shown how, after their arrival at Hong Kong, in the 
summer of 1857, the Sanspareil, Shannon, and Pearl were hastily 
despatched to Calcutta by Bear- Admiral Sir Michael Seymour (2), 
K.C.B., in order that they might assist in quelling the Mutiny in 

The Sanspareil, 70, screw, Captain Astley Cooper Key, C.B., 
landed a brigade in August to garrison Fort William, Calcutta ; 
but, after two or three months, returned, as has been seen, to 
Chinese waters, without having taken any active part in the sup- 
pression of the rebellion. The two other ships, however, sent their 
officers and men up country, and were able to render the most 
valuable assistance to the troops. 

The Shannon, 51, screw, had been launched at Portsmouth in 
November, 1855, and, though other vessels exactly like her were 
launched in the years immediately following, she was for a time the 
largest steam frigate afloat. Her tonnage (B.M.) was 2667, or about 
one-fourth more than that of the Victory ; and her nominal com- 
plement was 560 officers and men, though, on her arrival in India, 
she had more than that number on board. 

The frigate had been commissioned at Portsmouth on Septem- 
1 Williams : ' Cruise of the Pearl,' 15. 


ber 13th, 1856, by Captain William Peel, C.B., V.C., who has been 
already mentioned many times in these pages. On August Gth, 1857, 
she arrived in the mouth of the Ganges, and Peel at once offered the 
services of himself and his people to proceed to the front, and co- 
operate with the army. On the 14th, the Captain, several officers, 
and about 390 seamen and Marines, embarked in a flat, and were 
towed up the Hoogly to join the Lucknow relief force ; and on 
the 18th they were followed by another party of 5 officers and 120 
men, 1 the frigate then being left with 140 people in her, under the 
command of Master George A. Waters. The officers with the 
Brigade were : 

Captain William Peel, C.B. ; 2 Lieutenants James William Vaughan, 3 Thomas James 
Young, 4 William Charles Fahie Wilson, 6 Edward Hay, 6 Henry Eushworth Wratislaw, 6 
and Nowell Salmon; 6 Brevet-Lieutenant Colonel Henry H. Maxwell (attached); 
Captain Thomas Carstairs Grey, E.M. ; Second Lieutenant William Stirling, R.M. ; 
Mates Henry P. Garvey, 7 and Edward Hope Verney ; 8 Midshipmen or Naval Cadets 
Edmund John Church, William Henry Richards, Martin Abbot Daniel, 7 John Lewis 
Way, Edward St. John Daniel, Lord Walter Talbot Kerr, Lord Arthur Pelham Clinton, 
Edward S. Watson, and H. A. Lascelles ; Chaplain Edward Lawson Bowman ; Assist.- 
Surgeon James Flanagan 9 (actg.) ; Assist.-Paymaster William Thomas Comerford ; 10 
Assist.-Clerk James Edward Stanton ; Assist.-Engineers John W. Bone, Frederick 
William Brown, and Henry A. Henri; Gunner Robert Thompson; and Carpenter 
Henry Brice. Lieut. Lind af Hazeby, Swedish navy, was also attached to the Brigade ; 
and Captain Oliver John Jones, R.N. (half-pay), joined it as a volunteer. 

As the Brigade took with it both guns and howitzers, as the 
towing vessels were of but small power and shallow draught, and 
as the current was strong, progress was slow ; and Peel did not 
reach Allahabad, near the junction of the Jumna with the Ganges, 
until the second half of October. By the 20th the strength of the 
brigade assembled there was 516 of all ranks. Of these about 240, 
under Lieutenants Wilson, Wratislaw, and af Hazeby, were left in 
garrison at Allahabad. On October 23rd 100 more, under Lieu- 
tenants Vaughan and Salmon, with four siege-train 24-prs., went 
to Cawnpur, and thence joined the army before Lucknow ; and on 
the 27th and 28th the rest of the brigade, with four 24-prs. and 
two 8-in. howitzers, followed, and was presently amalgamated with 

1 Some of these were recruited from merchant vessels at Calcutta. 

2 K.C.B., and died 1858. 

3 Com., Jan. 30th, 1858 ; C.B., June 29th, 1858. 

4 Com., March 22nd, 1858; V.C., Feb. 1st, 1859. 
6 Com., March 22nd, 1858. 

6 Com., March 22nd, 1858 ; V.C., Dec. 24th, 1858. 

7 Killed in action. 8 Actg. -Lieut., March 22nd, 1858. 
'> Surg., Aug. 3rd, 1859. 10 Paym., March 22nd, 1858. 


a small force which, under Lieutenant-Colonel Powell, of the 53rd 
regiment, was marching in the same direction. Late on October 31st 
the column camped near Fatehpur, and, on the following day, 
marched twenty-four miles and defeated 4000 of the enemy at 
Kudjwa, capturing two guns. Powell fell, and Peel took command, 
and completed the rout of the mutineers, ultimately securing' a third 
gun. The British lost 95 in killed and wounded, among the latter 
being Lieutenants Hay, B.N., and Stirling, E.M. ; but the rebels 
lost 300 in killed alone. Peel then pressed on for Cawnpur. Writing 
to Sir Michael Seymour (2) on November 6th, from a camp between 
Cawnpur and Lucknow, he said : 

" Since that battle was fought, with the exception of one day's rest for the footsore 
men who had marched seventy-two miles in three days, besides fighting a severe 
engagement, we have made daily marches. ... At Cawnpur I was obliged to leave 
Lieutenant Hay with fifty men to serve as artillerymen for that important position. . . . 
I am much gratified with the conduct of all the Brigade ; and there is no departure 
whatever from the ordinary rules and customs of the service." 

Peel and Vaughan rejoined one another on November 12th before 
Lucknow, which had been relieved by Havelock and Outram, who, 
however, were so weak in force that they had been soon afterwards 
themselves besieged with the original defenders. On the 14th, when 
the Brigade's guns were in action, one of them burst, killing Francis 
Cassidey, captain of the main-top, and wounding several other men. 
On November 16th, during the successful attack on Secunderabagh, 
Midshipman Martin Abbot Daniel was killed by a round-shot, and 
Lieutenant Salmon was severely wounded. Salmon, however, won 
the Victoria Cross for that day climbing up a tree touching the angle 
of the Shah Nujjif, to reply to the fire of the enemy, for which 
dangerous service Peel had called for volunteers. Boatswain's Mate 
John Harrison displayed similar gallantry, and was similarly re- 
warded. 1 The total loss of the Brigade on that occasion was 4 
killed and 13 wounded. Fighting went on almost continuously 
until the 25th, when the relief was fully accomplished and the town 
evacuated. 2 It was quickly occupied by the rebels, strongly fortified 
and heavily garrisoned. 

Sir Colin Campbell, accompanied by the Naval Brigade, repaired 
to Cawnpur. On November 28th, on the way thither, a party of 36 

1 On the same day Com. Thos. Jas. Young, and AVm. Hall, capt. of foretop, gained 
the Victoria Cross for gallant handling of a 24-pr. Gazette, Dec. 24th, 1858, and 
Feb. 1st, 1859. 

2 Campbell to Gov.-Genl., Nov. 18th and 25th, 1857. 



bluejackets, with two 24-prs., under Lieutenant Hay, Mate Garvey, 
and Naval Cadet Lascelles, who was then acting as A.-d.-C. to 
Captain Peel, was engaged, in company with the 88th regiment, and 
did distinguished service. It was at about that time that Captain 
Oliver John Jones joined as a volunteer. 

In the fighting near Cawnpur, between December 6th and 
December 9th, the Brigade had a share ; and on January 2nd, 1858, 
it behaved with great gallantry at the action at Kallee-Nuddee. 
Lieutenant Vaughan was attacked while repairing a bridge across 
the river, which he then promptly crossed with three guns. On the 
further side he held in check a body of cavalry, and, himself aiming 
and firing one of his guns, made such good practice at the rebel gun 
which had originally annoyed him, that in five shots he dismounted 
the piece, destroyed its carriage, and blew up its ammunition waggon. 
Towards the end of the day Captains Peel and Jones, with three men 

(Signature as Captain.) 


of the 53rd regiment, while passing through a captured battery, were 
unexpectedly attacked by five sepoys who had lain in ambush. All 
the assailants were killed, the last falling to Jones's revolver. 

During the subsequent marching, the Brigade excited the 
admiration of the army by the manner in which it moved its 
guns. If a weapon drawn by bullocks stuck in heavy ground, the 
seamen never failed to extricate it, manning both wheels and drag- 
ropes, and, if necessary, getting an elephant to push behind. The 
cheerfulness, too, of the Brigade was much remarked on ; and, doubt- 
less, it contributed to the keeping up of the spirits of all engaged 
throughout a terribly trying time. 

In the fighting previous to the final capture of Lucknow in 
March, 1858, Peel and his men took a very active part, being present 
on the 3rd^ at the action at the Dilkoosha. On the 9th, while looking 
out for a suitable spot on which to post some guns for breaching the 


Martiniere, the leader of the Brigade was severely wounded in the 
thigh by a musket-ball. His six 8-in. guns and two 24-prs. were 
chiefly employed in battering the Begum's palace ; and it was while 
riding to them with a message on March 12th that Mr. Garvey was 
killed by a shell from one of the rebel coehorns. Captain Jones, on 
the same day, most devotedly exposed himself on the parapet of a 
battery in order to direct the fire of the guns behind it. On the 13th, 
when the guns had been placed in a somewhat more advanced 
battery, a coloured Canadian seaman named Edward Robinson 
betrayed extraordinary coolness in extinguishing a fire which had 
caught hold of some sandbags forming the face of the work. Under 
a storm of bullets from loopholes not forty yards away from him, he 
leapt out, and either quenched or tore away the burning canvas, 
being, however, severely wounded. He was awarded the Victoria 

On the 14th, the Brigade, and especially a detachment under 
Commander Vaughan, Lieutenant Hay, Mate Verney, and Midship- 
man Lord Walter Kerr, took part in the blowing open of a gate 
leading to one of the courts of the Kaisarbagh ; 011 the 16th the guns 
were advanced to the Residency ; on the 22nd the rebels evacuated 
the town ; and on March 29th the Brigade handed over the six 8-in. 
guns which it had brought up from the Shannon, and which were 
put into park in the small Imaumbarah, with the word " Shannon " 
deeply cut into each carriage. 

The naval contingent from the Shannon saw no more fighting in 
India. The gallant Peel, slowly recovering from his wound, was to 
have been carried down from Lucknow in one of the King of Oude's 
carriages which had been specially prepared for him by the Shannon's 
Carpenter. When he saw the gorgeous equipage, he declared that 
he preferred to travel in a doolie, like an ordinary bluejacket. Un- 
fortunately, the doolie selected for him must have been an infected 
one; for, soon afterwards, he was attacked with small-pox, to which, 
being already weakened by his wound, he succumbed at Cawnpur 
on April 27th, aged only thirty-four. He was, perhaps, the most 
brilliant naval officer of his day. 1 

Sir Edward Lugard, with whose division the Brigade served in 
the advance to Lucknow, and during the operations there, bore the 
following high testimony to the behaviour of Peel and his men : 

1 A monument to Peel and the officers and men of the Shannon's Brigade stands 
on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea. 


" The men were daily I may say hourly under my sight ; and I considered their 
conduct in every respect an example to the troops. During the whole period I was 
associated with the Shannon's Brigade, I never once saw an irregularity among the 
men. They were sober, quiet, and respectful ; and I often remarked to my staff the 
high state of discipline Sir W. Peel got them into. From the cessation of active 
operations until I was detached to Azimghur, I commanded all the troops in the city ; 
and all measures for the repression of plundering were carried out through me, and, 
of course, ever}' irregularity committed was reported to me. During that period not 
one irregularity was reported to me. Indeed, in the whole course of my life I never 
saw so well conducted a body of men. . . . Many a time I expressed to Peel the high 
opinion I had of his men, and my admiration of their cheerfulness and happy contented 
looks, under all circumstances of fatigue and difficulty." ' 

The Brigade returned slowly to Calcutta, and on August 12th and 
the following days, rejoined the ship, which, on September 15th, 
sailed for England. 2 

On her way from China to Calcutta, the Pearl called at Singa- 
pore, and there picked up two companies of the 90th Regiment, 
which, on July 10th, 1857, had been wrecked in the Strait of Banca 
in the iron trooper Transit. Proceeding, the Pearl disembarked 
those troops at Calcutta 011 August 12th. Captain Sotheby, like 
Captain Peel, offered his services to the Government, and, on 
September 12th, he embarked some of the officers and part of the 
crew of his corvette in the paddle-steamer Chunar. This detach- 
ment, of 158 men, with one 12-pr. howitzer, one 24-pr. howitzer, 
and 24-pr. rockets, reached Dinapur on October 7th, There it was 
found that no carriage suitable for the 24-pr. howitzer could be 
procured. The weapon was therefore left to be sent back to the 
ship. In lieu of it a 12-pr. howitzer and two 12-pr. mountain guns 
were supplied, and with them Sotheby landed at Buxar on October 
10th, and took up his quarters in the fort. On the 23rd the detach- 
ment was summoned to Chupra, and the whole of it was in quarter 
there by the afternoon of the 26th. Thence it moved successively to 
Sewan and Myrwa. By that time another detachment, under Lieu- 
tenant Eadcliffe, had joined from Calcutta, bringing up the force of 
the Pearl's Brigade to about 250 in all. A few had been raised from 
among volunteers from the merchant vessels at Calcutta ; but the 
vast majority were seamen and Marines belonging to the corvette. 
The officers of the Brigade were : 

Captain Edward Southwell Sotheby; Lieutenants Nicholas Edward Brook 
Tumour, Seymour Walter Delme Eadcliffe, Henry Duncan Grant, and 

1 Lugard to Vaughan. 

2 Disps. of Peel and Yaughan ; Journal of Lieut. E. H. Yerney. 


Hawkesworth Fawkes ; Mates Alexander Wighton Ingles, and Thomas 
Moore Maquay ; Midshipmen Lord Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, 
Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, Henry Frederick Stephenson, Charles 
Edward Foot, and Herbert Holden Edwards ; Lieutenant (R.M.) Frederick 
George Pym; Second-Master (actg.) John Fowler; Chaplain and Naval 
Instructor, Rev. Edward Adams Williams, M.A. ; Assistant-Surgeon William 
James Shone ; Assistant-Engineer John George Shearman ; Master's-Assisf.ant 
T. R. Merewether ; Clerk Thomas Henry Lovelace Bowling ; Gunner Parkin ; 
Boatswain Charles Band ; J and Carpenter John Burton. 

The Brigade was attached to the Sarun Field Force, of which, on 
November 27th, Colonel Eowcroft took command at Myrwa. It 
first came into action with the mutineers on December 26th at 
Sohunpore, where an entrenched position was taken, and the enemy 
was dispersed. No one belonging to the Brigade was hurt. 

By February 8th, 1858, the force arrived at Burhul, whence it 
moved up the Gogra in 150 boats, escorted by the small steamer 
Jumna, reaching Ghopalpur on the 10th; and on the 17th the 
strong fort of Chanderpur was captured by Captain Sotheby with 
130 of the Brigade, 35 Sikhs, and 60 Gurkhas, acting in concert 
with the Jumna, which was under the orders of Second-Master John 
Fowler. Two guns were captured. The casualties on the side of 
the attack were insignificant, only about four people being wounded. 
On the evening of February 19th, Nourainie Ghat was reached. 
That night a fort on the Oudh side of the river was seized; and,. on 
the afternoon of the following day, an attack was made upon a body 
of rebels at Phoolpur. After a gallant and well-sustained action, the 
enemy was driven from the field, with a loss of three guns. Two 
days afterwards, the Brigade recrossed the river by a bridge of boats 
which it had constructed. There had been some friction with the 
native allies ; and it was deemed advisable to keep a British force to 
guard the rear of the advance, large numbers of rebels being reported 
in the vicinity of Fyzabad. 

The Brigade marched to Amorha on March 2nd. Colonel Kow- 
croft was there informed that the fort of Belwa, seven miles further 
on, was occupied by the mutineers. In the afternoon, 168 men of 
the Brigade, with four guns, some 24-pr. rockets, 35 Sikhs, and a 
regiment of Gurkhas, moved to Belwa, and, being there joined by 
the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry, 250 strong, opened fired on the fort 
at 5 P.M. The place, however, proved stronger than had been 
anticipated ; and, when darkness came on, the whole force withdrew 

1 So says the Medal Roll at the Admiralty. Williams gives the Boatswain's name 
as Cooley. 



to the Yeomanry camp, and, on the day following, returned to 
Amorha. That night and the succeeding day the rebels received 
rery large reinforcements, chiefly from Fyzabad, but also from 
Nawabgunge, Gondah, and elsewhere. The retirement from before 
Belwa had been interpreted as a British defeat; the Sarun Field 
Force, mcluding the sick, was not then more than 1500 strong; and 
the mutineers, having collected many thousands of men and fourteen 
guns, were eager and confident. The little camp was, therefore 
endered as defensible as possible by means of an enclosing line of 
rifle-pits, and the clearing away of all jungle and houses which could 
shelter an advance. 

On the morning of March 5th, it was reported that the rebels 
were about to attack. The force thereupon moved out, and took up 
a position about half a mile to the west of the village of Amorha 
with the Naval Brigade and four guns under Captain Sotheby in the 
centre, astride of the road, a Gurkha regiment and the small detach- 
ment of Sikhs on the left, and another Gurkha regiment on the right. 
Dn each flank was a squadron of the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry. 
The enemy was in such force as to overlap the British force by at 
least a mile in each direction ; and he came on in excellent order in 
rear of a cloud of skirmishers. The naval guns, under Lieutenant 
Tumour, opened, and were replied to by ten pieces. After an 
artillery duel which lasted for some time, Colonel Eowcroft threw 
out his skirmishers, and began a steady forward movement, which 
never ceased until the mutineers were driven from the field ; for the 
cavalry, supported by the Gurkhas, cleared the foe from the flanks 
of the advance. As soon as it was evident that the enemy had been 
checked, Eowcroft reinforced his Eoyal Marines, who were in the 
skirmishing line, with a detachment of seamen, and pressed the foe 
all along his front. One of the first guns abandoned by the rebels 
was turned upon them, and worked by Lieutenant Grant, Assistant- 
Engineer Shearman, Midshipman Lord Charles Scott, and a seaman 
named Jesse Ward ; and, as there was no port-fire wherewith to fire 
it, a rifle was discharged into the vent, and the retreating foe was 
plied with his own grape. A brilliant cavalry charge threw the left 
wing of the mutineers into confusion ; and soon the entire body fled, 
leaving behind it eight unspiked guns. The enemy was pursued for 
six miles, and, making a brief stand at one point, killed Second- 
Master John Fowler (actg.) and one Gurkha. Heat and fatigue at 
length put a stop to the action, which had lasted from 8.30 A.M. to 



12.30 P.M. The rebels had attacked with about 14,000 men and ten 
guns, and had been completely defeated, with a loss of about 500, by 
1261 men, with but four guns. The Naval Brigade had 1 officer 
killed and about 15 people wounded. 

After the battle, in order to indicate to the enemy that the forces 
of the Government were confident of being able to take care of them- 
selves, the line of rifle-pits was filled up, and the camp at Amorha 
was pitched in the open plain. A small fort, however, was built to 
contain the sick, and the spare ammunition and baggage. There 
were many alarms until the end of April ; and, during that period, 
the force was joined by the left wing of Her Majesty's 13th Light 
Infantry, while one of the Gurkha regiments was withdrawn from 
it and sent to Goruckpur. On April 17th, a detachment went out 
and defeated a body of marauding rebels near the village of Tilga, 
capturing a gun ; and, on April 25th, another body was met near 
Jamoulee. Owing to the intense heat, this affair was an unsatis- 
factory one, for the rebels would not stand and could not be followed 
far. On the next day, the force moved to Kuptangunge. The 
enemy was then all round it. With a view to freeing it somewhat, 
an attack was made on April 29th on the fort of Nuggur by a detach- 
ment which included 96 officers and men, two guns, and a rocket 
tube from the Naval Brigade. The place was taken with but very 
trifling loss ; and in the evening the detachment returned to camp. 
For some time afterwards the Brigade remained at Bustee, where 
it went into huts on June 13th. From Bustee, several small expedi- 
tions were made against detached bodies of the enemy. One of 
these expeditions, on May 31st, turned a party of mutineers out 
of a position near Amorha ; and on June 18th, another party of 
more formidable strength, was defeated at Hurreah, but withdrew 
in good order. 

On August 29th, a section of the Brigade, 50 strong, under 
Lieutenant Fawkes, with two guns, took part in an engagement 
near Lumptee, and did good and steady service ; and on the same 
day, another section, under Lieutenant Tumour, also with two guns, 
assisted in repelling an attack on an outpost at Hurreah, and, 
following the enemy, routed him on September 1st at Debreah. On 
the evening of September 6th, Commander Grant, 1 with 73 seamen 
and Marines, two 12-pr. howitzers, a 24-pr. rocket-tube, and a 
detachment of the 13th Eegiment, left Amorha, with a view to 
1 He and other officers had by that time been promoted. Vide infra, p. 149. 


relieving a small garrison of Sikhs in the friendly town of Bansee. 
At Gondah, Grant was joined by Captain Mulcaster, who arrived 
with a squadron of cavalry, and took command. Bansee was 
reached on the 8th, after a splendid march of 50 miles in 39 hours, 
the men being often up to their knees in mud, and sometimes up to 
their waists in water. Bansee was relieved only just in time, for 
the gallant Sikhs holding it had but three percussion caps per man 
remaining. From Bansee, the expedition, which had been reinforced 
on the 10th by Brigadier Fischer, marched on the 12th, reaching 
Doomureahgunge on the 13th, and driving back a body of the rebels. 
The howitzers, under Lieutenant Ingles, were most excellently 
handled. On the 14th, an effort was made to catch a body of 
mutineers at Intwa ; but the roads were so bad that the attempt 
had to be abandoned ; and on the 17th, the expedition returned to 
Bustee. Another naval force, under Lieutenant Ingles, formed part 
of an expedition which left Bustee on September 27th for Bansee, 
and which, having crossed the Raptee, got up with, and dispersed, 
some mutineers at Mowee on September 30th, after most exhausting 

On October 1st, the outpost at Amorha, which included 50 of 
the Pearl's people, with two howitzers, under Lieutenant Fawkes, 
was attacked by about 1200 mutineers, with two guns. The enemy 
was repulsed, after Lieutenant Maquay, who directed the howitzers, 
and four seamen, Lee, Williams, Rayfield, and Simmonds, had 
especially distinguished themselves. 

On October 23rd, yet another expedition had to be despatched 
towards Bansee. On October 26th, when an insufficient British 
force was foiled in an attack on the jungle fort of Jugdespore, 
twenty-five miles north-west of Bustee, it was reported that the 
Brigade lost its guns in the retreat. There was no foundation for 
the story, which, however, gave rise to some amusing correspondence 
in the Indian papers. 

In the middle of November, all the outlying parties were recalled, 
and the whole force left Bustee on the 24th for the northern jungle 
on the Nepal frontier, only a field hospital and guard remaining. A 
siege train had, in the meantime, arrived at Bustee, and had been 
handed over to the Pearl's people. On the 25th, Bhanpur was 
reached, and a Madras battery joined ; and on the 25th, the force 
moved on to Doomureahgunge, where the rebels were very bloodily 
defeated, and a halt was made for some days, during which a bridge 

L 2 


of boats was thrown across the Eaptee, in face of a considerable 
army under Balla Eao, a near kinsman of Nana Sahib. On the 
evening of December 2nd, Brigadier Eowcroft learnt that another 
native force, under Nazim Mahomed Hossein, was six or eight miles 
up the river, intending to cross and join Balla Bao. On the 3rd, 
therefore, a detachment, which included 2 guns and 50 men of the 
Naval Brigade, under Captain Sotheby, went out to the attack, and 
found the rebels at Bururiah in a strong position. The enemy stood 
with unusual steadiness, until his flank was threatened ; whereupon 
he retired and scattered, carrying off his guns. The detachment 
then returned to camp ; and on December 5th, the Naval Brigade 
crossed the Raptee, the rest of the force soon following. 

The movement was part of a concerted plan to encircle the 
shattered armies of the Begum, Lord Clyde being to the westward, 
Sir Hope Grant to the southward, and Brigadier Eowcroft drawing 
round from the eastward, while to the northward were the jungles 
of Nepal. A guard was left at the bridge at Doomureahgunge ; and 
the remainder of the force marched to Intwa and camped there. 
The siege train, consisting of two 18-prs., one 8-in. howitzer, two 
8-in. mortars, and two 5'5-in. mortars, arrived on the 18th and gave 
the Naval Brigade as much artillery as it could possibly manage. 
The mortars were entrusted to Lieutenant Pym, R.M. On ths 
20th, the force advanced from Intwa to Biskohur, in Oudh, and, on 
the 22nd, to Goolereah Ghat, five miles from Toolseepur, where the 
remnants of the enemy were collected in great force. On the 23rd, 
in concert with the army of Sir Hope Grant, the force crossed the 
Boora Eaptee, and attacked. Near the centre were the four naval 
guns and two 24-pr. rocket tubes, under Commander Tumour, 
Lieutenant Maquay, and Midshipman Foot. The rest of the Naval 
Brigade, and the siege train, under Captain Sotheby, was as close 
up as the nature of the ground would admit. In about an hour and 
a half, the rebels were completely routed, though they carried off 
most of their guns, and although the pursuit was somewhat ineffec- 
tive, owing to lack of enough cavalry to undertake it properly. The 
mutineers numbered about 12,000 ; the attacking force, which had 
but 4 killed and about a dozen wounded, only 2500. 

This was the last affair in which the Pearl's Brigade took part, 
and, indeed, the last general action of the Mutiny. The seamen and 
Marines hoped to enjoy a quiet Christmas at Toolseepur, but were 
ordered on almost immediately with Brigadier Eowcroft. After a 


useless pursue, nearly as far as the 'Nepal frontier, the force 
returned. On the last day of the year, the Brigade lay at PucT 

aT ir ^ J T arJ 1St> 1859 ' ^ WaS rdered back to th e -hip 
Calcutta. Engager Eowcroft, on takmg leave of it on the 2nd 

The successes we have gained are mainly due to your 
courage and gallantry. I have also observed the excellent discipZ 
and conduct of your Brigade, which reflects great credit on Captain 
Sotheby, and the officers, as well as on yourselves. I therefore 
\ to lose your services ; but I am glad that, upon your departure 
you are homeward bound, which you all so much desire " 

On the 3rd, the Brigade departed, and, having embarked on the 
m the steamer Benares, reached Calcutta on February 2nd A 
Gazette Extraordinary,' published at Allahabad on January 17th 
the Bngade passed through that city, expressed the high satis-' 
faction of the Government of India with the great services of the 

S "^ mn 

a Mad whence ghe sai]ed aga . n ^ the ^^ 

Spithead on June 6th, after having circumnavigated the globe and 

been absent from home for three years and a week. She was paid 

off on j uri e 16th, 1859 ; and a "paymg-off " dinner on the evemng 

that day revved an old custom which had long been 

The principal honours and promotions granted in respect of the 
services of the Pearl's Brigade were as follows :- 

Captain E. S. Sotheby, to be C.B., June 29th, 1858 

To be Commanders: Lieut. N. E. B. Tumour, May 21st; Lieut. S W D Bad 
cliffe, and Lieut. H. D. Grant, June 18th, 1858 

L " Ingles ' May 21st ; 

As in South Africa, forty years later, so in India during the 
Mutiny the landed guns of the Navy, and the indefatigable and 
resourceful manner in which they were moved and worked in diffi- 
cult country, went far towards saying a yery precarioug situat . on 

t should not be forgotten that the Navy does not exist for such 

work as had to be done by it on those occasions; and that it would 

^ely have been called upon to do it had the British Empire been 


properly prepared to bear its immense responsibilities. It was only 
because the military administration failed at the pinch that the 
Navy had to step in and adapt itself to duties which did not belong 
to it, and which, for the moment at least, diminished its efficiency 
for services more peculiarly its own. 

The Navy was intimately concerned in the laying of the first 
submarine telegraph cable across the Atlantic. An unsuccessful 
attempt was made in August, 1857, after the intended route, between 
Ireland and Newfoundland, had been surveyed by the Cyclops, 6, 
paddle, Lieutenant Joseph Dayman. 1 About half the cable was put 
into the U.S. screw frigate, Niagara, 40, Captain Hudson, U.S.N., 
and half into the screw battleship Agamemnon, 91, Master Cornelius 
Thomas Augustus Noddall ; the programme being that the Niagara 
should lay the section between Valentia and mid-Atlantic, where a 
splice should be made, and that the Agamemnon should complete the 
laying to Newfoundland. 

The two cable ships quitted Valentia on August 7th, accompanied 
by the Leopard, 18, paddle, Captain James Francis Ballard Wain- 
wright, the Cyclops, and the U.S. paddle-vessel Susquehanna, 15. 
When 335 miles of the cable had been payed out, it parted. 

In July, 1858, a more fortunate essay was made. It had been 
determined that the cable ships should proceed to a rendezvous in 
mid-Atlantic, there make the splice, and then steam away from one 
another in opposite directions. Again the Agamemnon and the 
Niagara were employed, the former, however, being commanded 
by Captain George William Preedy, with, as navigators, Master 
Henry Augustus Moriarty, and Second-Master Samuel Libby. 2 The 
splice was effected on July 29th, and the Agamemnon then made 
for Kingstown Bay, Valentia, escorted by the Valorous, 16, paddle, 
Captain William Cornwallis Aldham, while the Niagara made for 
Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, escorted by the Gorgon, 6, paddle, 
Commander Joseph Dayman. At the western terminus there waited 
the Porcupine, 3, paddle, Captain Henry Charles Otter, and, at the 
eastern one, the gunboat Shamrock, Master William Barnerd Calver ; 
and, with the assistance of these, both shore ends were safely landed 
on August 6th. Unhappily, this cable worked only for a short time. 
It then became useless, and telegraphic communication beneath the 
Atlantic was not again effected until 1866. 

Towards the end of December, 1857, Commodore Charles Wise, 
1 Com., Jan. 1st, 1858. 2 Mast., Sept. 3rd, 1858. 


of the Vesuvius, 6, paddle, senior officer on the west coast of Africa, 
was instructed by the Admiralty to proceed up the Great Scarcies 
river, about thirty miles to the northward of Sierra Leone, and 
to punish the Sooso tribe, which had gone to war with the Tim- 
manees, allies of the British, burning several British factories, and 
even threatening Sierra Leone. 

With his own vessel, and the Pluto, 4, paddle, Lieutenant 
William Swinburn, Spitfire, 5, paddle, Lieutenant James Carter 
Campbell, and Ardent, 5, paddle, Commander John Halliday Cave, 
and a party from the Teazer, 2, screw, Lieutenant William Henry 
Whyte, the Commodore anchored off the mouth of the river on 
January 21st, 1858. The Soosos refused to evacuate the town of 
Kambia, which they had occupied, and which belonged to the 
Timmanees ; and, in consequence, on January 31st, a force con- 
sisting of eight paddle-box boats carrying 24- and 12-prs., a rocket 
cutter, a colonial gunboat having on board the governor and staff, 
and a detachment of about 250 seamen and Marines, proceeded 
up the river, and anchored off Kambia on February 1st. The 
town was strongly stockaded, and defended by an inner mud 
wall and flanking towers, while the plain between the place and 
the river's bank was studded with rifle-pits. Within a quarter 
of an hour, however, the town was set on fire by means of rockets ; 
and a bombardment with shell killed, it was said, 200 of the enemy. 
Kambia being in ashes, the force descended the stream, destroying 
in succession Eobelli, Makanka, Bobaiyan, and Bokon, besides 
other villages. Although the people were exposed to a brisk fire 
from each place, the casualties among them were only 2 officers 
and 8 men wounded. Thanks to a liberal use of quinine, there was 
no fever in the force, which rejoined the ships on February 4th. 

For this service Lieutenants Swinburn, Whyte, and Campbell 
were promoted, and three Mates were made Lieutenants. 

The force had not landed to occupy the site of any of the 
destroyed towns ; and the enemy, attributing the omission to 
weakness, presently became more aggressive than before ; where- 
upon, in March, 1859, a fresh expedition, again under Commodore 
Wise, went up the river in 52 boats. The landing force consisted 
chiefly of Marines, and the 1st West India Begiment. The stockade 
was stormed ; the Soosos were driven out with heavy loss ; and the 
Timmanees were put in possession of the town. The casualties 
were trivial ; and, as before, there was happily no fever. 


At about the same time the vessels on the station were both 
active and successful in the repression of slavery. An armed slaver 
of considerable size and force was captured by the Vesuvius' s cutter, 
under Mate Eobert Henry More Molyneux, 1 assisted by the Pluto's 

In the course of June, 1858, a dispute arose at Jeddah, the port 
of Mecca, concerning the ownership of a vessel which belonged 
to Indian subjects of her Majesty. In consequence of this dispute, 
rioting took place ; and on the evening of June 15th, the British 
vice-consul, the French consul, and several other Christian residents 
in the town were massacred. Several more only escaped massacre 
owing to the intervention of local officials, or to the opportune 
despatch to the shore of an armed boat from the Cyclops, 6, 
paddle, Captain William John Samuel Pullen, which was lying 
off the town. 

Pullen took the fugitives to Suez, and, having received orders, 
returned to Jeddah, where he arrived on July 23rd. He demanded 
satisfaction within thirty-six hours, and, getting no reply by the 
morning of the 25th, began a bombardment. At 11 A.M. an un- 
satisfactory answer from the local pasha was sent off to him ; where- 
upon he resumed firing, and continued, with intermissions, until the 
evening of the 26th. On the 27th Turkish troops appeared in a 
transport, and were landed. Their commander seized the mur- 
derers, but professed that he had no power to execute them, 
although they had been found guilty by the native court. Pullen 
insisted upon their execution ; and, on the morning of August 5th 
reopened the bombardment in order to enforce his determination. 
More troops, and an officer of superior rank, arriving from Egypt, 
eleven of the murderers were executed in sight of the town and 
shipping on the morning of the 6th, and four more were sent to 
Constantinople. 2 The business was a natural result of the lament- 
able weakness of Turkish authority in Arabia ; but, as proper 
satisfaction was given by the Sultan, the matter proceeded no 
further. 3 

William Walker, the famous filibuster, who had been a thorn 

1 Actg. -Lieut, in consequence, June 28th, 1859. 

2 Cons. Green to For. OS. Lord Malmesbury in Ho. of Lords, July 19th, 1858. 

3 The Roebuck, 6, screw, Lieutenant (actg.-Commander) Edwin Charles Symons, 
was also employed at Jeddah, during this year, in connection with the attacks on the 
local Christians, and subsequently at the Andaman Islands, on the occasion of a 
mutinous outbreak there.; 


in the side of the Central American governments since 1853, had 
been driven out of Nicaragua in 1857 by the concerted action of 
the other states, and, making an effort to return in 1858, had 
been shipwrecked, and obliged to accept the hospitality of a British 
man-of-war. He, or his partisans, made yet another abortive 
attempt in 1859 ; and in 1860, after having written a curious 
history of his adventurous career, he set , out from Mobile on what 
proved to be his last, expedition. Previous to his departure, Great 
Britain had joined the United States in declaring that any further 
action by Walker against Nicaragua would be forcibly resisted. 
Until a few years before, Euatan, the principal of the Bay Islands, 
had been under British guardianship ; but, under the Clayton- 
Bulwer Treaty, it had been ceded to Honduras ; and the filibuster 
imagined that he might take advantage of this circumstance to 
make the island his base of operations against the republic of 
which he had been, for a short time, president. He therefore 


proceeded thither with a number of his old followers. Unfortu- 
nately for him, the British flag was still flying over Euatan, the 
cession not having been actually carried out, owing to certain 
financial disputes between Great Britain and Honduras not having 
been settled. 

While Walker was standing on and off, waiting for the British 
flag to be hauled down, the Icarus, 11, Commander Nowell 
Salmon, V.C., arrived at Euatan from Belize, having on board 
the Superintendent of Belize, who, with Salmon, was to complete 
the cession of the islands. Seeing what was the state of affairs, 
and unwilling to do anything which might enable Walker to seize 
Euatan ere Honduras could take possession of it, the British 
officials went to Jamaica for further orders. Upon returning, 
Salmon found Walker still in the neighbourhood, and learnt that 
he had endeavoured to utilise for his purposes the adjoining island 
of Bonacea. Chafing at being able to accomplish nothing in the 
islands, Walker and his people sailed over to Truxillo on the 


mainland, and captured it. Salmon followed him, and was in- 
formed that the filibuster had " annexed " the town, and made it 
a free port. The inhabitants, who had been maltreated, had taken 
to the forest. 

With some little difficulty Salmon put himself in communication 
with the expelled Honduran governor, and discovered that the 
customs' receipts of the place had been mortgaged to the British 
government in payment of a debt. He therefore wrote to Walker, 
telling him that in the circumstances his acts could not be recog- 
nised, and that he must evacuate the town within twenty-four 
hours, and take shipping, which should be provided, for New 
Orleans. After some correspondence, in the course of which 
Walker magniloquently declared that he had come to introduce 
the code of Alfred into benighted lands, the filibuster agreed to 
the terms, and undertook to embark on the following morning. 
This was on August 20th. Pressed, however, by Honduran forces, 
he evacuated the town over night, and retreated down the coast, 
with but seventy men. On his way, he looted some mahogany- 
cutting settlements ; and, upon hearing of this, the Honduran 
government applied to Salmon for assistance. Salmon satisfied 
himself that there was precedent for giving it ; and, taking in 
tow a barque with General Alvarez and 200 troops, went in chase 
down the coast. Off the Eio Negro, it was ascertained that 
Walker and his companions were making themselves at home on 
the mahogany-cutting station of an Englishman, near Lemas. 
Salmon proceeded up the river with his boats manned and armed ; 
and, when within sight of the station, landed with General Alvarez, 
and walked to the building which Walker had made his head- 
quarters. To a demand for an unconditional surrender, and a 
threat that the guns in the boats would open fire on him if he 
refused, the filibuster asked for certain terms, which Salmon de- 
clined, alleging that, as Walker had already broken faith, he would 
not be allowed another opportunity for doing so. Walker then 
inquired whether he was surrendering to the Queen of England. 
The reply was that the surrender was to the Commander of the 
Icarus ; whereupon Walker fell his men in, and ordered them to 
lay down their arms. Both men and arms were taken on board 
the sloop and carried to Truxillo, where all but Walker, and Eudler, 
his chief of staff, were transferred to the Gladiator, 6, paddle, 
Commander Henry Dennis Hickley, and conveyed to New Orleans. 

1859-61.] INTERFE11ENCE IN MEXICO. 155 

Walker declined to plead American nationality, and claimed 
to be president of the Nicaraguan Eepublic. Salmon, therefore, 
could not persuade the Honduran authorities to release the two 
leaders ; nor, acting with and on behalf of them as he did, did 
he feel justified in taking up the position that the filibusters ought 
not to be punished. However, he appointed a Mr. Squire to watch 
the case on behalf of the United States government. Walker was 
tried by court-martial on September llth, and condemned to be 
shot on the following morning. Ere he died, he admitted the 
justice of his sentence. 1 

Walker's allusion to King Alfred indicates that he regarded 
himself as an enlightened law-giver. This singular man also 
regarded himself as a disinterested liberator ; for, after his sur- 
render, he sent for Salmon, and asked : " Would you have treated 
Garibaldi like this ? " But Salmon, who seems to have had but 
little sympathy with liberators, even of Garibaldi's type, replied 
to the effect that, if it fell to his lot to be able to do so, he might 
possibly not hesitate. The "last of the filibusters " was little more 
than thirty-six at the time of his death. 

Between 1821 and 1868 the form of government in Mexico was 
changed ten times ; upwards of fifty persons became in succession 
rulers of the country as presidents, dictators, or emperors ; and 
there are said to have been no fewer than three hundred pronuncia- 
mientos. It is hardly astonishing, therefore, that during that period 
Mexico got into occasional difficulties with foreign powers. 

In 1857, what is known as the " Struggle of Eeform " broke out. 
Ignacio Comonfort, who had been made provisional president of the 
republic by Alvarez, in 1855, had assumed a dictatorship, with the 
support of the clergy and the conservatives. Benito Pablo Juarez, 
the chief justice, and leader of the advanced liberals, or "Puros," 
headed the opposition. In 1858 Comonfort was deposed by Zuloaga, 
who resigned in favour of the conservative General Miramon, but 
was presently restored by him. Juarez claimed that, the president 
having been unconstitutionally displaced, the chief justice, as vice 
president, thereupon became legal president of the republic, and, 
accordingly, he ignored Zuloaga and Miramon, and himself acted as 
president. Civil war resulted. An able, honest, and patriotic 
statesman, Juarez had the misfortune, throughout his active career, 

1 J. J. Roche : ' Story of the Filibusters,' 173-177 ; Uisp. of Salmon ; Letter of 
Salmon to author, Oct. 12th, 1900 ; A. and N. Gazette, Oct. Cth, 1860. 


to be regarded with suspicion and intolerance by most of the 
Europeans with whom his energetic behaviour brought him into 
contact ; and certainly his methods were sometimes extremely high- 
handed. As early as the autumn of 1859, the Amethyst, 26, Captain 
Sidney Grenfell, which was then serving a commission during which 
she circumnavigated the globe, found occasion to interfere with the 
proceedings of his supporters at Mazatlan, and at San Bias, both 
on the Pacific coast. Trade was taken possession of; Mazatlan was 
blockaded ; an American brig, which had been seized, and which lay 
under the batteries there, was pluckily cut out one October night 
by three of the frigate's boats, under Master Eichard Cossantine 
Dyer ; and Eoyal Marines, under Lieutenant Alfred Henry Pascoe, 
E.M., were disembarked at San Bias. 

At length the Puros were triumphant; and Juarez was duly 
elected by congress to be president of the republic of Mexico. He 
readily agreed with Great Britain and France as to the payment of 
indemnities to persons of those nationalities who, residing in Mexico 
during the civil commotions, had suffered in consequence ; and a 
convention to that effect was signed on March 16th, 1861. But the 
country, exhausted by the long strife, was in grave financial diffi- 
culties; and on July 17th, following, congress was induced to pass 
a law, in virtue of which the payment of all public debts, including 
the indemnities, was to be postponed for two years. The repre- 
sentatives of Great Britain and France endeavoured, in vain, to 
procure the repeal of this measure, and then broke off relations with 
the Mexican government. Spain, which also had claims, took 
parallel action, and, on October 31st, 1861, the three powers signed 
a convention providing for their co-operation with a view to obtain- 
ing satisfaction. 

France dispatched a large naval and military force ; Spain sent 
6000 troops ; Great Britain contributed only a battalion of Marines, 
and a few vessels which happened to be on the station, including 
the Challenger, 1 22, screw, Captain John James Kennedy, C.B., the 
Desperate, 7, screw, Commander John Francis Eoss, and the 
Barracouta. 6, paddle, Commander George John Malcolm. The 
British participated in the occupation of Vera Cruz in January, 
1862, but on the following April 9th, wisely decided, in concert with 
Spain, to press matters no further, and to withdraw from Mexican 
territory. France, which had larger views than her allies, was left 
1 Bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Hugh Dimlop, from Jamaica. 


to prosecute alone an undertaking which became disastrous both to 
herself and Mexico, and to France's protege, the Austrian Archduke, 
Ferdinand Maximilian Josef, who was made emperor in 1863. 

In 1860, accompanied by a large suite, H.E.H. the Prince of 
Wales paid a visit to Canada and the United States. The screw 
battleship Hero, 91, Captain George Henry Seymour, C.B., was 
selected as the vessel in which he was to cross the Atlantic ; and he 
embarked in her at Plymouth, and sailed on July 12th, escorted by 
the screw frigate Ariadne, 26, Captain Edward Westby Vansittart, 
and the screw sloop Flying-Fish, 6, Commander Charles Webley 
Hope. The outward voyage was made without incident. Returning, 
the Prince embarked at Portland, Maine, on October 29th, and, 
encountering head winds and bad weather nearly all the way home, 
did not reach Plymouth until November 16th, by which day the 
Hero had only about one week's ship's provisions left, and even the 
royal party was living on salt and preserved meat. The ships had 
plenty of coal, but, with the relatively low-powered engines of those 
days, had been unable to make head against the continuous gales. 
" Our cousins in the United States," as Lord Palmerston said, 
" received the eldest son of our gracious Sovereign, not as if he 
were a stranger belonging to another land, but as if he had been 
born in their own country." Of the loyalty of the reception in 
Canada there is no need to speak. 

The history of the events which led up to Great Britain's active 
interference with the Ti-ping rebellion in China must be told at some 
little length. It affords an interesting study, and, I think, supplies 
examples rather of what to avoid than of what to emulate in dealing 
with great reform movements in Oriental lands. 

After the collision with the Ti-ping rebels at Nankin, and 
elsewhere on the Yang-tse-kiang, in 1858, Great Britain, which had 
always recognised the Ti-pings as belligerents, 1 re-adopted a professed 
policy, so far as they were concerned, of non-intervention. The 
rebels were, however, from time to time reminded that they must 
neither interfere with British trade nor imperil British interests. 
Thus, for example, a proclamation by the Hon. F. W. A. Bruce, 
dated Shanghai, May 26th, 1860, pointed out that, Shanghai being a 
port open to foreign trade, commerce would receive a severe blow, 
were the place to be attacked and to become the scene of civil war ; 
and went on to declare that, without taking any part in the contest, 
1 Bowring's Ordinance of 1855. 


to be regarded with suspicion and intolerance by most of the 
Europeans with whom his energetic behaviour brought him into 
contact ; and certainly his methods were sometimes extremely high- 
handed. As early as the autumn of 1859, the Amethyst, 26, Captain 
Sidney Grenfell, which was then serving a commission during which 
she circumnavigated the globe, found occasion to interfere with the 
proceedings of his supporters at Mazatlan, and at San Bias, both 
on the Pacific coast. Trade was taken possession of; Mazatlan was 
blockaded ; an American brig, which had been seized, and which lay 
under the batteries there, was pluckily cut out one October night 
by three of the frigate's boats, under Master Eichard Cossantine 
Dyer ; and Koyal Marines, under Lieutenant Alfred Henry Pascoe, 
E.M., were disembarked at San Bias. 

At length the Puros were triumphant, and Juarez was duly 
elected by congress to be president of the republic of Mexico. He 
readily agreed with Great Britain and France as to the payment of 
indemnities to persons of those nationalities who, residing in Mexico 
during the civil commotions, had suffered in consequence; and a 
convention to that effect was signed on March 16th, 1861. But the 
country, exhausted by the long strife, was in grave financial diffi- 
culties ; and on July 17th, following, congress was induced to pass 
a law, in virtue of which the payment of all public debts, including 
the indemnities, was to be postponed for two years. The repre- 
sentatives of Great Britain and France endeavoured, in vain, to 
procure the repeal of this measure, and then broke off relations with 
the Mexican government. Spain, which also had claims, took 
parallel action, and, on October 31st, 1861, the three powers signed 
a convention providing for their co-operation with a view to obtain- 
ing satisfaction. 

France dispatched a large naval and military force ; Spain sent 
6000 troops ; Great Britain contributed only a battalion of Marines, 
and a few vessels which happened to be on the station, including 
the Challenger, 1 22, screw, Captain John James Kennedy, C.B., the 
Desperate, 7, screw, Commander John Francis Eoss, and the 
Barracouta, 6, paddle, Commander George John Malcolm. The 
British participated in the occupation of Vera Cruz in January, 
1862, but on the following April 9th, wisely decided, in concert with 
Spain, to press matters no further, and to withdraw from Mexican 
territory. France, which had larger views than her allies, was left 
1 Bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Hugh Dunlop, from Jamaica. 


to prosecute alone an undertaking which became disastrous both to 
herself and Mexico, and to France's protege, the Austrian Archduke, 
Ferdinand Maximilian Josef, who was made emperor in 1863. 

In 1860, accompanied by a large suite, H.B.H. the Prince of 
Wales paid a visit to Canada and the United States. The screw 
battleship Hero, 91, Captain George Henry Seymour, C.B., was 
selected as the vessel in which he was to cross the Atlantic ; and he 
embarked in her at Plymouth, and sailed on July 12th, escorted by 
the screw frigate Ariadne, 26, Captain Edward Westby Vansittart, 
and the screw sloop Flying-Fish, 6, Commander Charles Webley 
Hope. The outward voyage was made without incident. Eeturning, 
the Prince embarked at Portland, Maine, on October 29th, and, 
encountering head winds and bad weather nearly all the way home, 
did not reach Plymouth until November 16th, by which day the 
Hero had only about one week's ship's provisions left, and even the 
royal party was living on salt and preserved meat. The ships had 
plenty of coal, but, with the relatively low-powered engines of those 
days, had been unable to make head against the continuous gales. 
" Our cousins in the United States," as Lord Palmerston said, 
" received the eldest son of our gracious Sovereign, not as if he 
were a stranger belonging to another land, but as if he had been 
born in their own country." Of the loyalty of the reception in 
Canada there is no need to speak. 

The history of the events which led up to Great Britain's active 
interference with the Ti-ping rebellion in China must be told at some 
little length. It affords an interesting study, and, I think, supplies 
examples rather of what to avoid than of what to emulate in dealing 
with great reform movements in Oriental lands. 

After the collision with the Ti-ping rebels at Nankin, and 
elsewhere on the Yang-tse-kiang, in 1858, Great Britain, which had 
always recognised the Ti-pings as belligerents, 1 re-adopted a professed 
policy, so far as they were concerned, of non-intervention. The 
rebels were, however, from time to time reminded that they must 
neither interfere with British trade nor imperil British interests. 
Thus, for example, a proclamation by the Hon. F. W. A. Bruce, 
dated Shanghai, May 26th, 1860, pointed out that, Shanghai being a 
port open to foreign trade, commerce would receive a severe blow, 
were the place to be attacked and to become the scene of civil war ; 
and went on to declare that, without taking any part in the contest, 
1 Bowring's Ordinance of 1855. 


or expressing any opinion as to the rights of the parties to it, the 
British might justifiably protect the city, and assist the Chinese 
authorities in preserving tranquillity within it. 1 Mr. Bruce did not, 
unfortunately, wait for the rebels actually to attack Shanghai ere he 
began to make a distinction between them and the Imperial party, 
such as, apparently, he had no right to make so long as the Ti-pings 
were officially recognised as belligerents ; for, a few months after his 
proclamation above alluded to, he refused to allow the consuls to hold 
any communication with certain insurgent authorities at Soo-chow, 
and ordered them to take no notice of a dispatch which had been 
received from one of the insurgent leaders. This attitude was 
inconsistent, and, as events proved, dangerous. Neutrality, such as 
Mr. Bruce professed, should not have allowed him to take more 
notice of Imperial than of Ti-ping dispatches ; nor could he com- 
plain if, so long as he declined to notice communications from the 
Ti-pings, the Ti-pings paid little attention to communications 
from him. It was the anomalous and contradictory situation 
created by Mr. Bruce which, I believe, was originally responsible 
for the many bloody collisions which followed between the British 
forces and the rebels, who, it is notorious, were particularly anxious 
to gain European countenance, and most unwilling deliberately to 
provoke European hostility. 

On August 18th, 1860, the rebel leader sent to the foreign 
ministers a notification of his intention to come to Shanghai, 2 and of 
his determination to respect foreign churches and property, upon 
yellow flags being hoisted over them. This was the dispatch which 
Mr. Bruce ordered his subordinates to take no notice of. Instead of 
acknowledging it, and directly stating in reply that the rebels must 
on no account approach, he issued a " notification," based ostensibly 
on " reports " which had reached him, to the effect that, armed 

1 Yet, writing to Lord John Russell from Shanghai on June 10th, 1860, Mr. Bruce 
had said : " I am inclined to doubt the policy of attempting to restore, by force of arms, 
the power of the Imperial government in cities and provinces occupied, or rather over- 
run, by the insurgents." And, after deprecating intervention, went on, "... the 
Chinese, deprived of popular insurrection their rude but efficacious remedy against 
local oppressors would, with justice, throw on the foreigner the odium of excesses 
which his presence alone would render possible. . . . No course could be so well 
calculated to lower our national reputation as to lend our material support to a govern- 
ment, the corruption of whose authorities is only checked by its weakness." See also 
Sykes' ' Taeping Rebellion,' 18. 

2 In response, he afterwards explained, to an invitation from the French. The 
Chung-wang to the Consuls, Aug. 21st. 


forces being understood to be in the neighbourhood, he thereby made 
known that the city of Shanghai, and the foreign settlement, were 
militarily occupied by the British and French, and that any armed 
force approaching would be treated as hostile. He sent a copy of 
this, not to the chief who had addressed him, but to a place out of 
the line of the march of the Ti-pings ; and, in consequence, it was 
not delivered. Had he communicated with the Chung-wang, 1 who 
had written to him, what followed might have been avoided. 

On August 18th, 1860, the Ti-ping army, or rather, part of it, 
arrived before Shanghai, and drove in the Tartar outposts, sub- 
sequently advancing to the walls. They were met with shot, shell, 
and musketry from the European garrison of the settlement, and 
especially from Eoyal Marines, and Indian troops, Lieutenant John 
William Waller O'Grady, E.M., being particularly active, and 
Captain Frederick Edward Budd, B.M., keeping up a very hot fire 
from another position. It is said that, during the whole time, the 
rebels did not reply. 2 At any rate, about 300 of them fell, while 
there was not a single casualty on the part of the Europeans. When 
the Ti-pings had retired, parties were sent out to burn down such 
houses in the suburbs as might afford cover to the rebels. On Sunday, 
August 19th, the French burnt more houses, and, in the afternoon, 
the gunboats Kestrel, Lieutenant Henry Huxham, and Hongkong, 
together with Lieutenant O'Grady's Marines, re-opened fire on any 
rebels who could be seen. It is said that again the Ti-pings did not 
return a shot. It is certain, however, that, on the 20th they advanced 
in greater strength than before, determined, perhaps, to endeavour to 
avenge their comrades slaughtered, as they conceived it, in bad faith. 
Once more they were driven back ; and during the following night, 
the Pioneer, 6, screw, Commander Hugh Arthur Beilly, added to 
their discomfiture by steaming up the river and dropping shells 
into their camp. 

When, after the conclusion of peace with China, it became 
desirable that a British expedition should proceed up the Yang-tse- 
kiang to provide for the opening of the treaty ports there, it was 
necessary to make some preliminary agreement with the Ti-pings, 
who commanded many of the important points on the river. Sir 
James Hope, therefore, communicated with the Ti-ping authorities 

1 Ti-ping general-in-chief. 

2 Corr. of Nonconformist, Nov. 14th, 1860 ; Overland Register, Sept. 10th, 1860 ; 
' Ti-ping Tien-Kwoh,' i., 275, etc. ; Times of India, Oct. 24th, 1860. 


at Nankin, and once more pledged British neutrality. He was 
instructed by Lord Elgin ''to say that the British did not appear 
as enemies, nor with the intention of taking part in the civil war. 
Mr. Parkes, who accompanied the Vice- Admiral on the subsequent 
expedition up the river, was instructed by Lord Elgin 2 to the same 
effect. But, when Hope, in the Coromandel, reached Nankin, he 
directed 3 Commander Elphinstone d'Oyley d'Auvergne Aplin, of the 
Centaur, 6, paddle, to tell the Ti-ping authorities that the British 
and French governments had ordered that any attempt to enter 
Shanghai or Woosung would be repelled by force, and that therefore 
the Ti-pings would do well not to go within two days' march of those 
cities. If such orders had then been given, they were secret ones ; 
but the Foreign Office approved 4 of Hope's measures, and also of 
his having assured the Ti-pings that, if they obeyed him in this 
matter he would exert his influence to prevent any hostile expedi- 
tion from leaving those places in order to attack Ti-ping troops. 
While expressing his approval, Lord John Russell added : " You will 
understand, however, that Her Majesty's government do not wish 
force to be used against the rebels in any case, except for the actual 
protection of the lives and property of British subjects." 

The upshot was that the Ti-pings ultimately promised not to 
attack Shanghai or Woosung that year (1861) ; and requested that, 
on the other hand, the Imperial troops might not be allowed into 
those places. Mr. Parkes accepted and reported this request as a 
condition. It was also arranged that if the Ti-pings should attack 
other treaty ports and not molest British subjects in their persons 
and property, commanders of British vessels, in accordance with 
instructions to be given them, would not interfere in the hostilities, 
except for the purpose of protecting their countrymen, if necessary. 

The Ti-pings adhered to their undertaking relative to the year 
1861, and refrained from advancing within 100 li, or about 30 miles, 
of Shanghai or Woosung. They might easily have taken both 
places had they wished, and had they had only the Imperial forces 
to contend with, for, during that year, they were extraordinarily 
successful, and made themselves masters of nearly the whole of the 
two rich provinces of Chekiang and Kiangsu. 

That friction, nevertheless, occurred almost immediately was but 
natural, looking to the forward policy which Sir James Hope thought 

1 See Pad. Corr. on Opening of Yang-tse-kiang. 2 Jan 19th, 1861. 

3 Hope to Aplin, Mar. 28th, 1861. Russell to Bruce, July 24th, 1861. 


fit to adopt throughout. Mr. Bruce, writing to Lord John Eussell 
on January 3rd, 1861, said that he had directed the British consul at 
Ningpo not to undertake the defence of that city, and, should it be 
attacked, to confine his efforts to a mediation, "which may save 
the place from being the scene of pillage and massacre" ; and, in 
a letter to Hope, Bruce declared that he did not consider himself 
authorized to protect Ningpo. In his instructions to Mr. Sinclair, 
the local consul, he wrote : " Your language should be that we take 
no part in this civil contest, but that we claim exemption from 
injury and annoyance at the hands of both parties." All this was 
approved by Lord John Eussell in a dispatch of March 28th, 1861. 
Yet, on May 8th, Sir James Hope, at Nagasaki, ordered Captain 
Eoderick Dew, of the Encounter, 14, screw, to put himself into com- 
munication with the rebel leaders, and to require them to desist 
from all hostile proceedings against the town of Ningpo. At the 
same time, Dew was directed to communicate also with the Imperial 
authorities at Ningpo, 

" for the purpose of ascertaining what their means of resistance are, and the probabilities 
of their proving successful; and, should you find them amenable to ad vice, 'you will 
point out to them such measures as circumstance may render expedient, and you will 
place every obstruction in the way of the capture of the town by the rebels." 

This was not neutrality. Lord John Eussell was being hurried 
on by Hope, but hurried on unwillingly ; for, commenting on the 
" every obstruction " policy of the Vice-Admiral, Lord John, writing 
to Bruce, said : 

" I have caused the Admiralty to be informed, in reply, that I am of opinion that 
Vice-Admiral Hope's measures should be approved. . . . You will understand, how- 
ever, that Her Majesty's government do not wish force to be used against the rebels in 
any case, except for the actual protection of the lives and property of British subjects." 

Captain Dew, in pursuance of instructions, proceeded on May 24th 
in the gunboat Flamer, Lieutenant Henry Maynard Bingham, to 
convey Hope's ultimatum to the rebels in the vicinity of Ningpo. 
They were not to approach within two days' march of Ningpo upon 
penalty of coming into hostile contact with British forces. Dew, 
being unable to reach the rebel positions in the gunboat, put his 
little party into pulling boats. Upon reaching a town which was 
occupied by the Ti-pings, he noticed a discharge of gingals from the 
walls, though whether directed against him is doubtful ; and he 
withdrew, after having left Hope's communication in a cleft bamboo 
stuck into the ground before the place. If there was any firing at 



the party, it was probably tbe work of some ignorant underling 
or the result of mistake ; for when, on June llth, with the 
Encounter and Flamer, Dew took another copy of the ultimatum to 
Chapoo, which had been occupied by the Ti-pings, and landed with 
it under a flag of truce, he was not fired at ; and the local com- 
mandant went out and received the letter in person. The document, 
dated " Encounter, June llth," says nothing about any hostile act 
having been committed on May 24th; and therefore it may be 
assumed that whatever occurred on that day was officially regarded 
as not calling for an apology. 

The Ti-pings, be it remembered, were under no undertaking not 
to occupy Ningpo. The British, however, were under an under- 
taking to be neutral. Yet almost while Lord John Eussell, writing 
on August 8th l to Mr. Bruce, said that the desire of the government 
was to remain neutral as before, and to " abstain from all inter- 
ference in the civil war," Captain Dew was assisting the Imperialists 
with plans for the defence of Ningpo, and fitting twelve heavy guns 
with carriages to mount on the walls. It is not astonishing that 
Mr. Bruce thought that 

" Captain Dew had gone farther than he was strictly warranted in doing in his desire 
to save the city of Ningpo." 2 

In June, moreover, Captain Dew appeared in the Flamer off the 
Ti-ping town of Loochee, some distance up the AVong-poo river, 
and demanded the restitution of some boats and silk which had 
been detained for non-payment of duty at a time when duty was 
being paid as a matter of course at the same station by many 
European traders. It could not be contended that the Ti-ping 
occupation had injured the silk trade, duty or no duty ; for Mr. 
Bruce himself, in a dispatch to Lord John Russell said that the 
export from June, 1860, to June, 1861, had been 85,000 bales ; 
and that was, with one exception, the largest annual export ever 
then known. 

By November, the only places in the Chekiang and Kiangsu 
provinces south of the Yang-tse-kiang not held by the Ti-pings were 
the treaty ports of Shanghai, Chinkiang, and Ningpo. Those 
places were strongholds of the Imperialists ; and the rebels were 
bound by all the principles of strategy either to complete their 
conquest of the provinces, or criminally to leave their cause in a 

1 Blue Book on China, p. 46. 2 Blue Book on China, pp. 50, 64. 


position of great danger and peril. In spite, therefore, of Sir 
James Hope's communications, they approached Ningpo ; whereupon 
the British and American Consuls, with Lieutenant Henry Huxham, 
commanding H.M.S. Kestrel, and a French naval officer, proceeded 
on November 28th to the Ti-ping headquarters, and verbally 
informed the leaders 

" That the undersigned take no part in this civil contest, but that they claim exemp- 
tion from injury and annoyance at the hands of both parties." 

Hwang, the Ti-ping general, agreed with the principle thus 
laid down, assured the Consuls of his desire to keep well with 
foreigners, and promised to behead any of his followers who should 
offer them annoyance. On December 2nd the Consuls visited 
another Ti-ping general, Fang, who was advancing from a different 
direction. They endeavoured to dissuade him from capturing the 
place, chiefly on the ground of the difficulty of keeping order 
afterwards. Fang replied that he could not allow Ningpo to remain 
in the hands of the Imperialists ; but, at the wish of the Consuls, 
he consented to postpone the attack for a week. At the expiration 
of that period, the Ti-pings, on December 9th, 1861, took Ningpo, 
after it had offered a feeble resistance for about an hour, the 
Imperialists then fleeing. Hope, in his account of the affair, 
admits that 

" everything had been done to assist the Imperialists in the defence of the town, except 
the use of force in their favour; and their Lordships will not fail to observe how 
utterly useless such measures proved, in consequence of the cowardice and imbecility 
of the mandarins. . . . The behaviour of the rebels has been good hitherto ; and they 
profess a strong desire to remain on good terms with foreigners." 

The British Consul, writing to Lord John Kussell, also said : 

" Up to the present time there has been no slaughter, or massacre, or fires within 
the walls. . . . With the exception of a few men killed, and a certain amount of 
destruction of property, the rebels have, so far, conducted themselves with wonderful 

A few days afterwards, Sir James Hope proceeded to Nankin 
in order, if possible, to obtain from the Ti-ping leaders a renewal 
of their promise not to attack Shanghai for one year that is, during 
the course of 1862. This they declined to give, partly because 
they considered that the British had not strictly interpreted their 
own promise to prevent the Imperialists from using Shanghai as 
a base for aggressive purposes ; partly because Shanghai had 

M 2 


become an Imperial arsenal and rallying place ; and partly because 
they could not further forego their rights as recognised 

Upon that Sir James Hope, through Lieutenant Henry Maynard 
Bingham, of the Eenard, on December 27th, 1861, put forward 
demands which, I think, can have been formulated only with an 
intention of finding a casus belli. He alleged that certain British 
subjects, by robberies committed in territories held by the Ti-pings, 
had suffered a loss amounting to 7563 taels, 1 mace, and 7 can- 
dareens, 4800 dollars, 20 bales of silk, and 2 muskets. The cash value 
of all this in British currency may have been as much as ,3500. 
He further demanded that junks carrying British colours should be 
regarded as British vessels, no matter whether British or foreign 
built, and should be allowed to pass free on the river from 
examination or other molestation. He went on to declare that 
the Ti-ping promise that troops should not approach within 100 li 
of Shanghai and Woosung had not been faithfully observed ; and 
he ended by requiring that no Ti-ping troops should go within 100 li 
of Kiukiang and Hankow, and that Silver Island, the residence 
of the British Consul at Chinkiang-foo, should not be molested. 
The general tenor of the reply 1 of the Ti-ping leaders was to 
the effect that compliance with the demands, some of which were 
new and of a distinctly unfriendly nature, would fetter the Ti-ping 
cause, and could not, therefore, be granted. It was objected that 
no proofs had been advanced as to the alleged losses by British 
subjects, or that such losses had been caused by the Ti-pings ; and 
that, if the losses had taken place, the British ought to have 
complained at once to the local officers, instead of waiting many 
months before complaining at all. It was also pointed out that, 
if the British flag were permitted to cover non -British vessels, the 
Ti-pings might see themselves deprived of nearly the whole of their 
customs revenue. 

Bingham, by Hope's direction, at once answered with a threat 
to use force. It would occupy much more space than can be 
afforded here were I to follow out the arguments by which Sir James 
persuaded himself that it was his duty to prevent the Ti-pings from 
occupying Shanghai ; but I cannot blind myself to the conclusion 
that, had not Hope desired hostilities, hostilities could very easily 
and honourably have been avoided. It was a case, and a case not 

1 Jan. 1st, 1862. 


altogether creditable, of the "prancing pro-consul" leading his 
countrymen into devious and dangerous paths ere they realised 
whither they were bound, or had time to inquire whether or not 
good reasons summoned them. There is a proverb that adversity 
makes us acquainted with strange bed-fellows. A forward policy 
did as much for Hope. Not many months earlier, Commander 
Nowell Salmon, in Central America, had seized the filibuster 
William Walker, and handed him over for execution to the 
authorities of Honduras. Sir James Hope now associated himself 
with William Townsend Ward, who had been one of Walker's 
lieutenants, and who, still a filibuster, happened to be, in 1862, 
engaged on behalf of the Chinese Imperialists. 

On February 21st, 1862, Hope began operations against the 
rebels by landing a naval brigade of 350 men and a 6-pr. rocket-tube, 
which, with about 600 disciplined Chinese under Ward, and 160 
French seamen under the French .Rear-Admiral Protet, drove the 
small and ill-armed Ti-ping garrison from the village of Kaokiau, 
killing more than 100 of them, and suffering a loss of only 1 French 
seaman killed. A similarly one-sided engagement took place on 
February 28th at Seadong ; and on March 1st, having been 
reinforced from Shanghai, the allies attacked the fortified village 
of Hsiautang, near Minghong, about twenty miles from Shanghai. 
About 100 rebels were killed and 300 taken prisoners, the assailants 
not losing a man. On April 4th a stockaded camp at Wongkadzu, 
twelve miles from Shanghai, was shelled till the rebels quitted it. 
They were pursued, and about 600 of them were killed, while the 
allies, who had been again reinforced, had but 1 killed and 
2 wounded. On April 5th 300 rebels were killed at the capture of 
Lukakong, the assailants once more having no casualties. They 
had, however, been repulsed on the previous day, and Hope himself 
had been slightly wounded. On April 17th, Chepoo, a village seven 
miles up a creek running into the Woosung river, twelve miles 
above Shanghai, was bombarded and rushed, the allies having 
but 1 killed and 2 wounded, but the Ti-pings suffering a loss 
estimated at 900. On May 1st, after four days' operations, the city 
of Kahding was taken, the European allies capturing 1000 
prisoners and killing " some hundreds," while their Chinese 
colleague, General Lee, cut off the retreat of many others and 
" destroyed 2500 of the enemy." : These operations cost the 
1 Staveley's disp. of May 3rd. 


allies not more than five or six people wounded. On May 12th 
the walled city of Tsingpoo was escaladed. About 2500 Ti-pings 
were killed, and the whole of the rest of the garrison was taken 
prisoners. The allies here had but 2 killed and 10 wounded, 
though they also lost an artillery officer from exposure and 
over-exertion. The village of Najoor was taken on May 17th. 
This capture cost the life of the French Bear-Admiral Protet and 
the wounding of 15 other British and French ; but the Ti-pings had 
500 killed. On May 20th the small town of Cholin, twenty-six 
miles S.S.W. of Shanghai and two miles from the sea, was 
bombarded and stormed. Here a most disgraceful and indiscriminate 
massacre took place, even women and children not being spared. 1 
About 3000 Chinese perished. The allies had 1 killed and 4 
wounded. Up to that time Sir James Hope and General Staveley, 
in the neighbourhood of Shanghai, had met only ill-armed Ti-pings. 
Upon receipt of intelligence that the Chung-wang, with a large and 
probably a more formidably-equipped army, had taken the field, and 
invested Kahding, and was threatening Tsingpoo, they returned 
to the treaty port. A half-hearted attempt to relieve Kahding 
was abandoned, owing to the immense numbers of rebels near it ; 
but the only loss suffered by the British ere they retreated was 
1 killed and 4 wounded. The Naval Brigade employed in these 
various affairs was drawn mainly from the Imperieuse, 51, screw 
(flag), Captain George Ommanney Willes, C.B. ; Pearl, 21, screw, 
Captain John Borlase, C.B., who generally commanded ; and 
Vulcan, 6, screw trooper, Commander Augustus Chetham Strode. 

All this was done professedly in the interests of European 
commerce. It would hardly have been done had the merchants 
been first consulted. Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Co., in their 
circular of February 27th, complained, not of what had been done 
by the Ti-pings, but of what was about to be done by the allies. 
They wrote : 

" The policy the allied commanders are adopting will, it is feared, lead to disastrous 
consequences. . . . Our interests call for a strict neutrality; but, so far from this 
course being pursued, our last advices report a combined expedition of English and 
French marines and sailors, in conjunction with a force of Imperialists, commanded in 
person by their respective admirals, against a body of some 6000 rebels which, of 
course, they defeated with great slaughter." 

1 Overland Trade Report, June 10th. See also North China Herald. The French, 
announcing that they were avenging Protet, were the worst offenders. 

1862.] DEW AT NINGPO. 167 

Nor, after he had begun hostilities, was Sir James Hope 
consistent. He grounded his action on the possibility that the 
advancing Ti-pings might destroy supplies. After describing his 
operations, he said : 

"All these camps, which contained large quantities of rice collected from the sur- 
rounding country, were burnt, and the grain destroyed." 

Moreover, only a few days before the attack on Wongkadzu, 
the Flamer destroyed a flotilla of 300 Ti-ping boats " deeply laden 
with rice and live stock." 

In the meantime Ningpo had been taken by the rebels. Mr. 
Consul Harvey reported that it was held with "wonderful 
moderation." On April 22nd, during certain rejoicings there, some 
shots were fired wildly in the direction of the foreign settlement, 
and, it was alleged, killed two or three Chinese. The true facts 
were never established ; but when Commander Eobert George 
Craigie, of the Eingdove, 4, screw, wrote to the local authorities 
on the subject, he received a civil reply and a promise that the 
offenders, when discovered, should be severely punished. On April 
29th Captain Eoderick Dew, in the Encounter, arrived off Ningpo 
from Shanghai. On the 27th he wrote to the local authorities, 
expressing his satisfaction at the replies and promises, and added 
that, in consequence of their nature 

" we shall not insist on the demolition of the battery at the point, but we still 
do that you remove the guns. . . . We again inform you that it is the earnest wish 
of our chiefs to remain neutral, and on good terms with you at Ningpo. . . ." ' 

But on the very day after he had written so condonatory an epistle, 
he addressed the local authorities with a demand for the pulling 
down of the battery alluded to, and for the removal of all guns 
opposite the foreign settlement. After professing his unwillingness 
to be obliged to resort to force, and his desire to be neutral as 
between the rebels and the Imperialists, he threatened to destroy 
the battery and capture Ningpo if his demands were not complied 
with within twenty-four hours. The rebel leaders protested that 
the battery was designed, not to injure foreigners but to defend 
the city, and that the guns had the same object ; whereupon 
Captain Dew, who acted, no doubt in accordance with the private 
instructions of Sir James Hope, made further demands in a letter 
of May 2nd. The rebels, on the 3rd, referred to the explanations 
1 These extracts are from the ' Further Papers ' issued in August. 


which had been already tendered and accepted as satisfactory, and, 
while once more pointing out that the offending guns were absolutely 
necessary for the defence of the position against the Imperialists, 
went so far as to offer to block up the embrasures of certain 

Thus matters rested for a day or two. On the 5th Consul 
Harvey heard from the ex-governor of Ningpo that he was about 
to attack the city with a strong force, and that the support of 
the British and French admirals was solicited. Harvey communi- 
cated this to Captain Dew, who, going down the river, saw the 
ex-governor and the leader of the Imperial fleet which was to take 
part in the attack. A forward policy, as we have seen, had made 
Hope and Protet the abettors of a filibuster. The same vicious 
system now made Dew the accomplice of a pirate ; for the leader of 
the Imperial fleet was none other than Apak, a notorious freebooter, 
whom, like other criminals and scoundrels, the Chinese government 
did not hesitate to take into favour and to employ in its hour of 
need. Reporting on the 7th to Hope, Dew wrote : 

" I told them that, in consequence of the rebels refusing certain demands we had 
made, I should have no objection to their pausing up, but that they were not to open 
fire until well clear of our men-of-war." 

In consequence of Dew's permission, Apak and his junks passed 
up ; and on May 9th Consul Harvey reported to Mr. Bruce that 
the Chinese fleet was "lying in front of our settlements," making 
preparations for an assault on Ningpo. Dew, on April 18th, had 
written to the Ti-ping chiefs that he would " not even allow the 
foreign settlement to harbour the Imperialists," provided that a 
battery (which on the 27th he had said might remain) were pulled 
down. He knew that the place could not be defended without the 
battery ; and he knew that, if the Imperialists were allowed to 
place themselves opposite the foreign settlement, that settlement 
might be said to " harbour the Imperialists," since the Ti-pings 
could not then defend themselves at all without endangering the 
settlement, besides endangering the European men-of-war which 
were lying beyond it. 

Early on May 10th the Imperialists, who had previously 
informed Captain Dew and Consul Harvey " in a private manner" l 
of their intention, began to attack Ningpo, advancing from the 

1 Harvey to Bruce, May 9th. 

1862.] CAPTURE OF NINOPO. 169 

direction of the foreign settlement, and then manoeuvring round 
and round the British and French vessels, and firing when in such 
positions as prevented the Ti-pings from replying without im- 
perilling the Europeans. Dew never enforced his stipulation that 
the Imperialists should keep clear of his men-of-war ; and, in his 
dispatch, 1 he was so disingenuous as to say nothing of the methods 
whereby, at length, the Ti-pings were unwillingly induced to fire 
in a direction of the settlement and ships. He does not say, as is 
perfectly true, that for some time the Ti-pings did not reply at all ; 
and that, when they did at length fire in self-defence, they began by 
tiring muskets only, deeming that they had less control over the 
projectiles from their heavy guns. What he does say in his letter 
to Hope is : 

" You are aware, Sir, that the rebel chiefs had been informed that if they again 
fired either on our ships or in the direction of the settlement, we should deem it a cams 
belli. This morning at 10 A.M., the Kestrel, and French vessels Etoile and Confucius 
were fired on by the point battery. I cleared for action in this ship, when a volley of 
musketry was fired on us from the bastion abreast. The undermentioned vessels, viz., 
Encounter, Ringdove? Kestrel, 3 and Hardy* with the Etoile and Confucius, French 
gunboats, now opened fire with shell on the walls and batteries, which was replied to 
with much spirit from guns and small-arms. . . ." 

It must be admitted that, on the 8th, in an ultimatum to the 
Ti-pings, he had written : 

" We now inform you that we maintain a perfect neutrality ; but if you fire the 
guns or muskets from the battery or walls opposite the settlement on the advancing 
Imperialists (thereby endangering the lives of our men and people in the foreign 
settlement), we shall then feel it our duty to return the fire and bombard the city." 

It was equivalent to saying : " We are neutral, provided that you do 
not defend yourselves." 

At 2 P.M., after a continuous bombardment, the city was 
stormed ; and at 5, when all opposition had ceased, the ex-governor 
and his troops landed, and received charge of the city from Captain 
Dew, who re-embarked his brigade. The rebels, on evacuating the 
place, left behind them 100 killed. The British loss was 3 killed 
and '23 wounded. 

The rebels had at least behaved with moderation during their 
occupation of Ningpo. According to the correspondence of the 
China Mail of May 22nd, the pirates who supplanted them 

1 To Hope, May 10th. 3 Lieut. Henry Huxham. 

2 Com. llobert George Craigie. 4 Lieut. Archibald George Bogle. 


committed the most revolting atrocities on the 10th, llth, and 
12th. The Hongkong Daily Press began its comments on the 
affair by saying : " There never was a falser, more unprovoked, 
or more unjustifiable act than the taking of Ningpo by the allies 
from the Taipings." The Overland Trade Report said : " So much 
mystery and double-dealing has been practised by the allies to 
wrest this port from the Taipings, and so little regard for veracity 
pervades the official dispatches regarding their doings, that the 
truth is most difficult to arrive at, and has certainly never yet 
been published. . . . The mode of accomplishing this design 
reflects indelible disgrace on British prestige. . . ." 

It has been mentioned that, upon learning that the Chung- 
wang had collected a huge army for the recovery of his posts 
near Shanghai, Sir James Hope and General Staveley withdrew to 
that city. The only place of importance which they continued to 
hold beyond its immediate precincts was Soongkong, which they 
garrisoned in conjunction with some of Ward's disciplined Chinese. 
The rebels made a determined effort at daylight on May 30th, 1862, 
to carry Soongkong by storm, but were bloodily repulsed, mainly 
by the instrumentality of a detachment from the Centaur, 6, paddle, 
Commander John Eglinton Montgomerie. On June 2nd, however, 
the Ti-pings won a small success outside the town, driving a body 
of Imperialists from a stockade, and capturing a gig belonging to 
the Centaur, and a number of Chinese gunboats in a neighbouring 
creek. By means of a sortie, the gig and some of the gunboats 
were retaken by the British and Ward's Chinese ; and it is 
noteworthy that, in spite of what had happened at Ningpo and 
elsewhere, the gig's crew, and other Europeans who were taken in 
the gunboats, were not harmed during the time when they remained 
in Ti-ping hands. Other Europeans, including one Forrester, a 
filibuster friend of Ward, were liberated after the recapture of 
Tsingpoo by the Ti-pings on June 10th, although European 
advisers of the Chung-wang advocated the wisdom of retaining 
the prisoners as hostages. 

Sir James Hope raised the siege of Soongkong by despatching 
thither reinforcements under Captain John Borlase, C.B. ; where- 
upon the Chung-wang, with the bulk of his army, withdrew to 

At about that time the Imperial government at Pekin was 
warned from London that Great Britain would " not go on 


protecting Shanghai for ever, 1 and was encouraged to procure 
foreign ships and foreign officers for the purpose. Captain Sherard 
Osborn, C.B., B.N., was induced to engage himself as admiral; and 
the British government, suspending the Foreign Enlistment Act, 
passed an Order in Council 2 on August 30th, which authorised 
the fitting out and manning of vessels of war for the service of 
the Emperor of China. Vessels were accordingly fitted out in 
England ; 3 and they proceeded to China ; but the entire arrange- 
ment, entered into by Prince Kung in an unofficial capacity, was 
disavowed by the Emperor and his advisers when the flotilla 
reached what was to have been the scene of its operations. The 
Imperialists were willing even then to take over the flotilla, 
provided it should be placed under the control of the provincial 
authorities ; but to such a course Captain Osborn refused to agree ; 
and ultimately he returned to England, the vessels also returning, or 
being sold. During the brief stay of the flotilla in Chinese waters, 
some of the officers and men belonging to it behaved in such a 
fashion that there was a general sense of relief among the European 

1 See China Blue Book, 1863, pp. 13, 67 ; and Lay, ' Our Interests in China.' 

2 Gazette, Sept. 2nd, 1862. 

3 The vessels which went out from England to join this extraordinary force (others 
were procured, and armed and manned in China), and the officers of the Royal Navy 
who found employment in them, were as set forth below. Other officers were taken 
from the Indian Navy and from the mercantile marine : 

Keangsoo (flag), wooden, paddle, 1000 tons, 300 H.P. nom. (built at Southampton, 

1862-63, for the Chinese service) : 
Com. Charles Stuart Forbes (capt.) ; Sub-Lieut. Francis Charles Vincent 

(lieut.) ; 

Surg. John Elliott (surg.-in-chief). 
Kwangtung, iron, paddle, 522 tons, 150 H.P. nom. (built by Messrs. Laird, 1862-63, 

for the Chinese service) : 
Lieut. William Allen Young, K.N.R. (com.) ; Lieut. Charles Edward Burlton 

Tientsin, iron, screw, 445 tons, 80 H.P. nom. (built by Messrs. Laird, 1862, for 

the Chinese service) : 

ex-Corn. Beville Granville Wyndham Nicolas (capt.). 
Pekin (ex-H.M.S. Mohawk), screw sloop : 

Capt. Hugh Talbot Burgoyne, V.C. (capt.) ; Lieut. Henry Mortlock Omnianuey 

(lieut.) ; Asst.-Surg. Frederick Piercy (surg.). 
Anoy (ex-H.M.S. Jasper), screw gun-vessel : 

Lieut. Arthur Salwey(com.); Sec.-Master Alfred Frederick Pearce (sub-lieut.) 
China (ex-H.M.S. Africa), screw sloop : 

Lieut. Noel Osborn (com.) ; Lieut. George Morice (lieut.) ; Asst.-Surg. Henry 

Fegan (surg.). 

Thule, purchased screw schooner ; tender to Keangsoo. 
Ballarat, purchased steam store-ship : 

Master Stephen J. W. Moriarty (com.). 


residents upon its departure. The disappearance of the "Vampires," 
as they were called, probably saved some of them from having to 
meet charges of piracy ; for they had no commission whatsoever. 

In the meantime, Captain Dew, 1 of the Encounter, being left 
a nearly free hand in the vicinity of Ningpo, associated himself with 
Ward, a Franco-Chinese force, and the Imperialists, and, aided by 
the British gunboat Hardy, and the French gunboat Confucius, 
conducted with varying fortunes a bloody campaign in the district 
comprising Tsekie, Yuyaou, Fungwha, and Shousing. 

Shousing is more than a hundred miles from Ningpo quite 
outside the radius, that is to say, of any operations ever contem- 
plated by Hope and Bruce, when they determined to keep clear 
a certain region round the treaty ports; so that when, early in 
1863, after the Imperialists, with their Anglo-Chinese and Franco- 
Chinese allies, had been badly defeated before that town, and Dew 
went to the spot with a 68-pr., in charge of Lieutenant Edward 
Charles Tinling, the Captain of the Encounter was at length checked 
by his superiors. The fact that Tinling, a young officer who had 
been promoted for his gallantry at Ningpo, was mortally wounded 
in the course of another vain attempt to storm the city, called 
attention to the loose and semi-piratical manner in which the 
war was being conducted; and Bear-Admiral Augustus Leopold 
Kuper, C.B., 2 who, at the end of the previous October, had relieved 
Sir James Hope as Commander -in- Chief, was, perhaps, less 
tolerant of such excesses than his capable but too truculent 
predecessor had been. There was at once an outcry, in England 
as well as in China, in Parliament as well as in the street ; and, by 
direction of the Admiralty, Captain Dew was at length informed 
officially that he had exceeded his instructions. It was high time. 
Not only in China had Great Britain been venturing upon paths 
which, with more honour, might have been avoided. The same 
newspapers which chronicled the doings of Dew, and the fitting 
out of the Anglo-Chinese flotilla under Captain Sherard Osborn, 
recorded the operations of the Confederate cruisers, which would 
have never harried the Federal trade at sea had Lord Palmerston, 
Lord John Bussell, and Mr. Gladstone been thoroughly scrupulous 
in their interpretation of the word " neutrality." 

The Navy was concerned in yet one more operation against the 
Ti-pings ere Sir James Hope handed over his command to Kear- 
' C - B -' Au S- 26th, 1862. 2 Apptd. Feb. 8th, 1862. 

1862.] STORMING OF KAIWING. . 173 

Admiral Kuper. In October, 1862, the Imperialists informed 
General Staveley that if he would recapture Kahding for them, 
they would place a garrison in it. The town was accordingly bom- 
barded for two hours on October 24th, and then taken by storm 
by a force made up of the disciplined Chinese, who, since Ward's 
death, were commanded by an American named Burgevine ; some 
French troops, some more Chinese, under Lieutenant Kingsley, E.A., 
and Lieutenant Crane, E.A., and a Naval Brigade, composed of 
570 officers and men from the ImpSrieuse, Euryalus, Pearl, Vulcan, 
Starling, and Havock, under Captain John Borlase, C.B. The 
brigade lost 11 men wounded, one mortally. General Staveley, in 
his dispatch, mentioned with approval the names of Commander 
Augustus Chetham Strode, of the Vulcan, and Lieutenant John 
Frederick George Grant, of the same ship ; and among others who 
were employed on the occasion were Lieutenants Arthur Hart 
Gurney Eichardson, Edward Hobart Seymour (who will be heard 
of again in connection with operations in China), Henry Holford 

1. H ' i f 


Washington, Duncan George Davidson, Horace William Eochfort, 
John Hamilton Colt, James Edward Hunter, Eobert Peel Dennis- 
toun, John Gabriel Yarwood Holbrook, Herbert Price Knevitt, 
George Henry Barnard, and George Poole ; together with Captains 
John Yate Holland, E.M., and Ebenezer Tristram Thomas Jones, 
E.M., and Lieutenant William Stewart, E.M.A. The rebels are 
said to have had 1500 killed and wounded, while the Imperialists 
and allies had but 34 casualties in all. The place was at once 
handed over to Burgevine, who stained his success by ordering 
many of the 700 prisoners who fell into his hands to be blown 
from guns. It may be mentioned here that Burgevine was soon 
afterwards deposed from his command by his Chinese superiors, in 
consequence not of this but of other offences, and his place given 
to Captain Holland, E.M., aforesaid. In his hands the disciplined 
Chinese force did not prosper ; and, upon his resignation, it was 
taken charge of by Major Charles George Gordon, E.E., who, 
engaged in a less questionable cause, perished heroically at 
Khartoum in 1885. 

From the time of Eear-Admiral Kuper's assumption of the 


command in Chinese waters, the active and systematic employ- 
ment of the Navy on behalf of the corrupt and unworthy 
government at Pekin, and against rebels who, according to their 
lights, were struggling for reformation, came to an end. 

During the operations against the Ti-pings, the hunting down 
of Chinese pirates continued, among the officers most active and 
successful in the work being Commander John Moresby, of the 
Snake, 4, screw, who captured or destroyed fourteen craft belonging 
to these freebooters. The Pearl, 21, screw, Captain John Bor- 
lase, C.B., was conspicuous in the same kind of service, especially 
in May and June, 1861. The Cockchafer, 2, screw, Lieutenant 
Henry Lowe Holder, also distinguished herself. The scene of 
operations was, for the most part, off the coast of the province of 

A renewal of the disputes over land-titles produced another native 
outbreak in the North Island of New Zealand early in 1860, the 
scene of hostilities being the neighbourhood of Taranaki, and the 
native leader being William King, the chief of the local tribe. A 
force, including two companies of the 65th Eegiment, was sent to 
the spot, whither also the Niger, 13, screw, Captain Peter Cracroft, 
proceeded. A landing was effected at Waitara, on March 5th, no 
resistance being offered ; and, on the following day, the ship was 
about to proceed to New Plymouth, when signals were made to 
her to the effect that the enemy, during the darkness, had built a 
stockade, which threatened to cut off the communication of the 
troops with their land base. King, however, eventually abandoned 
this stockade without fighting. On the 17th he was discovered to 
have erected another pah, which he resolutely defended, until a 
bombardment obliged him to quit it also. In the meantime, the 
Niger had gone to Auckland for supplies, leaving only a few of her 
people to assist the troops. On the 26th William King murdered 
three men and two boys, and boasted that he would drive the 
Europeans into the sea. On the 28th, therefore, by which day the 
Niger had returned, the naval detachment on shore accompanied 
the troops into the country to bring into town some settlers who 
lived in exposed and outlying places; and Cracroft, at the desire of 
Governor Gore Browne, landed further officers and men to hold 
the town during the absence of the expedition. He disembarked in 
person, with sixty seamen and Marines. 

The rescuing force had not advanced more than four miles when 


it found itself warmly engaged with a strongly-posted body of the 
enemy. Word was sent back for reinforcements, and Cracroft went 
at once to the front with his men and a 24-pr. rocket-tube. King 
occupied a pah at Omata on the summit of a hill, and had severely 
handled the British force ere Cracroft's arrival ; and of the small 
naval contingent, the leader, Lieutenant William Hans Blake, had 
been dangerously wounded, and a Marine killed. Cracroft deter- 
mined to storm the pah, and, addressing his men, pointed to the 
rebel flag, and promised 10 to the man who should haul it down. 

f 3 /! flT Of THE NoffTH /SLAMD y NtW ZEALAND 

fa iUustrafe tfie operations of tfte War of /86O-/864-. 

He then moved to within 800 yards, and opened fire from his rocket- 
tube, which, however, made no impression. It was then nearly 
dark, and Colonel Murray, who led the military force, announced 
his intention of retreating to the town, whither he had been ordered 
to return by sunset, and advised Cracroft to do the same. " I 
purpose to take that pah first," said the Captain. The visible with- 
drawal of the troops from the front of the position probably had the 
effect of rendering the enemy more careless than he might otherwise 
have been to what was going on on his flank. The result was that 
Cracroft managed to get close up to an outlying body of natives 


b'efore his presence was detected. Within 60 yards of the enemy he 
gave the word to double. "With a volley and a cheer the men were 
instantly in the midst of the rebels, who, after a brave resistance, 
took refuge in the pah behind them, or escaped. The seamen and 
Marines rushed onwards, met tomahawk with bayonet, and soon 
annihilated all resistance. Cracroft, who had not force enough to 
hold the position with, returned leisurely with his wounded, who 
were not numerous, and was not molested. On the following day, 
the enemy retired to the southward, having lost very heavily. 1 It 
should be added that William Odgers, seaman, who was the first 
man inside the pah, and who pulled down the enemy's flag, was 
awarded the Victoria Cross. 2 

Hostilities continued. On June 23rd a reconnoitring party of 
troops was fired at near Waitara; and, in consequence, an attack, 
with insufficient force, 3 was made on a strong rebel pah in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood on June 26th, in the early morning. Part 
of the 40th Eegiment, some Eoyal Engineers, and a small Naval 
Brigade under Commodore Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour, of 
the Pelorus, 21, screw, were engaged. After a hot fight, lasting for 
more than four hours, the British were obliged by overwhelming 
forces to retreat, after having lost 29 killed and 33 wounded, among 
the latter being Seymour, eight seamen, and one Marine. Besides 
Seymour, the naval officers engaged were Lieutenant Albert Henry 
William Battiscombe, Midshipmen Ernest Bannister Wadlow, and 

Garnett, and Lieutenant John William Henry Chafyn Grove 
Morris, E.M.A." 

The war was somewhat more actively prosecuted after the arrival 
on the scene of Major-General T. S. Pratt, who won an initial 
success, and then, on December 29th, with troops, guns, and 138 
officers and men from the ships, 6 under Commodore Seymour, en- 
trenched himself at Kairau, opposite the strong position of Matari- 
koriko, which, during the two following days, he obliged the enemy 
to evacuate. He fought the action entirely with cannon, rifle, and 
spade, and, not unduly exposing his men, had but 3 killed and 21 
wounded. After this success, Pratt adopted the practice of reducing 
the successive positions of his opponents by means of regular 

1 Corr. of A. and N. Gazette, July 14th, 1860 ; Fox, ' War in New Zealand,' 30. 

2 Gazette, Aug. 2nd, 1860. 

3 Three hundred and forty-seven in all. The natives were thrice as numerous. 

4 Taranaki Herald, June 30th, 1860. Desps. 

6 Chiefly from the Cordelia and Niger ; and from colonial steamer Victoria. 


approaches. These tactics broke up the rebel combinations. A chief 
named William Thompson, whose tribe, the Waikato, had joined 
the Taranaki natives, finally proposed a suspension of hostilities, and 
on May 21st, 1861, a truce was arranged. 

Governor Gore Browne had mismanaged matters; and he would, 
almost immediately, have provoked a new outbreak had not the 
home Government, realising that the position of the colony was 
becoming serious, recalled him by means of a dispatch which, while 
otherwise complimentary, informed him that he was superseded by 
Sir George Grey, who, as has been seen, had already been appointed 
governor in 1845, and who had since governed the Cape. 

Grey seems to have used his best endeavours to pacify the 
natives. He even offered to submit the still unsettled land questions 
to arbitration by two Europeans and four Maoris, three to be ap- 
pointed by him and three by the natives. This was refused. Grey 
then determined to abandon the disputed territory at Waitara, but 
to insist upon the restitution of the district of Tataraimaka, which 
had been seized by the rebels and held by them since 1861, in spite 
of the fact that there was no doubt whatsoever of the validity of the 
purchase of it in 1848 or 1849. Unfortunately, as it turned out, he 
sent a force to occupy Tataraimaka, without simultaneously pro- 
claiming his intention of giving up Waitara. The resident natives 
made no opposition, but sent to William Thompson, of Waikato, for 
orders. He and the other leaders of the King party decided for war ; 
and the Maoris at once began operations by falling upon a small 
escort party on May 4th, 1863, and murdering two officers and eight 
rank and file of Imperial troops. Grey then committed a worse 
mistake. He announced hurriedly that Waitara was to be abandoned, 
thereby encouraging his enemies, and sapping the attachment of his 
friends among the natives by unwittingly suggesting that he was 
influenced by fear and the consciousness of weakness. A few weeks 
earlier, Mr. John Eldon Gorst, 1 civil commissioner in the Waikato 
country, who had established a newspaper there to combat the 
teachings of Kingism, had had his press and material violently 
seized by the partizans of the King paper, Hokioi ; and the timber 
ready for the erection of a court-house and barracks in lower Waikato 
had been forcibly taken and thrown into the river, while Mr. Gorst 
had been expelled soon afterwards. 2 

Aware, after what they had done, that they were committed to a 

1 Sol.-Genl., 1885-86 ; Und.-Sec. for India, 1886-91, etc. 2 Fox, 43-60. 



serious struggle, the natives determined to invade Auckland ; and 
Grey, getting early intelligence of their intention, decided to forestall 
matters by advancing into the Maori country. The senior military 
officer, Lieut.-General D. A. Cameron, C.B., who was at New 
Plymouth, endeavouring to punish the perpetrators of the massacre, 
was therefore recalled to Auckland, leaving behind him only enough 
troops to garrison New Plymouth ; and the available British forces 
were soon afterwards concentrated along the Waikato river and the 
Maungatawhiri creek, the boundary between the settled districts and 
the unsold Maori lands. The boundary was crossed on July 12th ; 
on July 17th a small British detachment was defeated between 
Queen's Redoubt and Drury ; and on the same day a body of rebels 
was driven back and scattered near Koheroa ; but then there ensued 
a long and almost inexplicable period of comparative inaction, so 
far as the army was concerned. 

In the meantime, however, the Navy made itself useful. On 
June 4th, 1863, the Eclipse, 4, screw, Commander Eichard Charles 
Mayne, co-operated in an attack which was made by the garrison of 
New Plymouth on a rebel position near the mouth of the Katikara ; 
and on the night of August 1st, a detachment from the Harrier, 17, 
screw, Commander Francis AVilliam Sullivan, took part in a recon- 
naissance of Paparoa and Haurake. On August 3rd, Commander 
Sullivan, in the lightly-armoured colonial steamer Avon, also re- 
connoitred the Waikato river above Kohe-Hohe, and, for about 
half an hour, engaged a body of the enemy near Merimeri. On 
September 7th, the Harrier's boats, under Sullivan's direction, 
were employed to convey a force which was intended to support 
an unfortunate and costly raid made in the direction of Cameron 

While the army, under Lieut.-General Cameron, was getting 
ready for offensive operations, Commodore Sir William Saltonstall 
Wiseman, Bart., of the Curaqoa, 23, screw, who, in April, had been 
appointed senior officer on the Australian station, concentrated as 
large a proportion as possible of his available strength in New 
Zealand waters, and himself left Sydney, with troops on board, and 
one or two vessels in company, on September 22nd, arriving at 
Auckland on October 2nd. The Curaqoa herself at once landed 232 
officers and men, who were sent up country to the support of the 
troops ; and she remained as guardship at Auckland under Lieutenant 
Duke Doughton Yonge, with but three other officers and 90 men in 


her. She was kept ready for action in case of a sudden descent of 
the Maoris on the town. The other ships which then, or soon 
afterwards, co-operated with the senior officer in New Zealand 
waters were the 

Miranda, 15, screw . . . Captain Robert Jenkins 
Esk, 21, screw . . -. _ . Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton 
Harrier, 17, screw . . . Commander Francis William Sullivan l 
Eclipse, 4, screw .... Commander Richard Charles Mayne 2 
Falcon, 17, screw . . , Commander George Henry Parkin 
Besides the Pirmeer, Avon, Sandfly, Corio, and other colonial vessels. 

Late in October, General Cameron and Commodore Wiseman, in 
the colonial steamer Pioneer, made two reconnaissances up the 
Waikato, pushing, on the 31st, as far as Eangariri. On that 
occasion they passed the strong Maori position at Merimeri, and, 
having discovered a good landing-place about six miles above it, it 
was arranged with the Commodore to embark a force from Queen's 
Eedoubt. This force, in the colonial steamers Pioneer and Avon, 
with four lightly-plated gunboats 3 in tow, got under way at 2.30 on 
the morning of November 1st, and reached the landing-place at about 
6 A.M. The troops disembarked unopposed, and began to construct 
a breastwork, pending the arrival of further forces. In the after- 
noon, however, the natives at Merimeri, seeing that their position 
had been turned, abandoned their works, and made off in canoes up 
the Maramarua and Whangamarino creeks. Cameron at once pro- 
ceeded to Merimeri, and occupied it with a force which included 
250 seamen under Commander Mayne. The place was afterwards 

Between November 16th and November 25th, an expedition, 
under Captain Jenkins and Colonel G. J. Carey, was engaged to the 
northward, and up the Firth of Thames, to the eastward of the 
country occupied by the enemy. It was made in the Miranda, Esk, 
Sandfly, and Corio. Although it took possession of some positions, 
and so accomplished part of its purpose, it did not come into actual 
collision with the enemy, and was therefore unable to deal any 
serious blow. The Miranda remained for a time in the Firth of 

1 Capt. Nov. 9th, 1863. He was succeeded by Com. Edward Hay. 

2 After Mayne's disablement, Lieut. Henry Joshua Coddington acted until the 
arrival of Com. Edmund Robert Fremantle. 

3 These gunboats, named Flirt, Midge, Chub and Ant, were originally cargo boats, 
and were thinly armed by Capt. Jenkins at Auckland, and then transported by him 
overland, via Manakau, to the Waikato. 

N 2> 


Thames. 1 During the absence of the expedition an important 
success was won on the Waikato. 

After the abandonment of Merimeri, a strong force of rebels 
entrenched themselves at Kangariri, a village about twelve miles 
higher up the river. There, on November 20th, General Cameron, 
with troops, the four plated gunboats, and a Naval Brigade from the 
Curagoa, Miranda, Harrier, and Eclipse, under Commodore Wise- 
man, numbering about 400 men, attacked them. He had in all 
about 1200 men, while the Maoris were but about 400 ; but the 
latter had the advantage of a strong position, though it was one 
from which there was no easy way of retreat, and one, too, which 
required a much larger force to hold it properly. The two divisions 
did not arrive simultaneously before the works. One, coming by 
land, threatened the front, while the other, brought in the steamers, 
was to have threatened the rear ; but part of the latter was delayed 
by the strength of the current. For an hour and a half the position 
was bombarded, and then, at 4.30 P.M., an assault was ordered. The 
Maoris soon concentrated themselves in a very formidable redoubt 
in the centre of their lines, and bloodily repulsed four separate 
attempts to carry it one by the 65th Regiment, one by a party of 
Eoyal Artillerymen, and two by 90 men of the Naval Brigade, 
gallantly led by Commander Mayne and Commander Henry Bourchier 
Phillimore. It was then nearly dark. An attempt on the part of 
some of the brave defenders to get away across Lake Waikarei, and 
a swamp on their right flank, was partially prevented by the 40th 
Eegiment, and a detachment of the Marines, who, having by that 
time arrived by water, had moved round to the rear ; but it was 
supposed that two of the most important leaders, King Matutaere, 
and William Thompson, escaped ere the way was blocked. The 
rest were trapped, and, although they kept up a desultory fire during 
the night, they surrendered unconditionally on the morning of 
November 21st. Those who thus gave themselves up numbered 
183 men and 2 women. The others had fallen or had escaped. It 
had been a magnificent defence ; and the success was a very costly 
one ; for, on the British side, 36 were killed and 98 wounded, many 
mortally. 2 The naval casualties were 5 killed, including Midshipman 

1 Wiseman to Admlty., Nov. 30th. 

2 The British tactics at Rangiriri were adversely criticised at the time. The enemy 
was driven, without much trouble or loss, into the central redoubt, where he might 
have been either approached by sapping, or starved into surrender, if he had not 
previously succumbed to bombardment. Instead, he was stormed, at great expendi- 


Thomas A. Watkins (Curagoa), and 10 wounded, including Com- 
mander Mayne l (Eclipse), and Lieutenants Edward Downes Panter 
Downes 2 (Miranda), Henry M'Clintock Alexander 2 (Curaqoa), and 
Charles Frederick Hotham (Curaqoa). After the surrender, William 
Thompson, with a small party, approached the place with a white 
flag, but, having parleyed, withdrew again, not being able to make 
up his mind to submit. 3 

In addition to the naval officers already named, the following 
were mentioned in the dispatches : Captain Francis William 
Sullivan ; Lieutenants Charles Hill, and William Fletcher Boughey ; 
Acting-Lieutenant Eobert Frederick Hammick, 4 commanding the 
small gunboats ; Sub-Lieutenant Frederic John Easther, command- 
ing the Avon ; Midshipmen Sydney Augustus Rowan Hamilton, 
Frank Elrington Hudson, and Cecil George Foljambe ; Assistant 
Surgeons Adam Brunton Messer, 5 M.D., and Duncan Hilston, M.D. ; 
and ordinary seaman William Fox (Curaqoa). 

The prisoners were temporarily confined on board the Cttraqoa, 
at Auckland. 

For some days after the action, the flotilla was laboriously 
employed in bringing up supplies toMerimeri, Rangiriri, and Taupiri, 
to which last the General advanced on December 3rd. On the same 
day, Commodore Wiseman and Captain Sullivan, having lightened 
the Pioneer by removing the armoured turrets from her, pushed on 
in her to Kupa Kupa Island, about four miles ahead of the troops. 
Immense natural difficulties were encountered, but no enemy was 

There is no doubt that the Maoris were, for the moment, greatly 
disheartened ; for, on December 8th, without further resistance, 
General Cameron was allowed to occupy Ngaruawahia, at the 
junction of the Hurutiu and Waipa rivers, which together form the 
Waikato. Ngaruawahia was an important political centre, as it had 
been the headquarters of Kingism, the burial place of King Potatau, 
and the capital of his successor Matutaere. If Sir George Grey had 
seen his way to go thither to negotiate, as, at one time, he intended, 
terms might then have been arranged. Instead, he wrote to the 

ture of life. Fox thinks that he might have been reduced, with little or no loss, in 
a few hours, as he could not escape. 

1 Capt., Feb. 12th, 1864. a Corns., Feb. 12th, 1864. 

8 Wiseman's disp. of Nov. 30th ; Cameron's disp. of Nov. 24th ; Fox, 80. 

4 Lieut., Feb. 12th, 1864. 5 Surg., Feb. 12th, 1864. 


natives that he would receive a deputation from them at Auckland. 
It is, however, not certain that William Thompson-, the leading 
spirit, then really desired peace ; for no reply to the Governor's letter 
was ever received. Cameron remained for some time at Ngarua- 
wahia to collect supplies, but, at the end of January, moved up the 
Waipa, and arrived before Pikopiko and Paterangi, two posts which 
were very strongly fortified. While this movement was in progress, 
Lieutenant William Edward Mitchell, of the Esk, who was in 
command of the Avon, was fatally wounded by a chance shot from 
Maoris in ambush on the river bank. He was only two-and-twenty 
years of age. Acting-Lieutenant Frederic John Easther, of the 
Harrier, succeeded him in command of the Avon. 

Before the Miranda quitted the Firth of Thames, all the posts 
between that estuary and Queen's Eedoubt, on the Waikato, were 
taken possession of, and held by detachments of the 12th and 70th 
Eegiments, the Waikato militia, or the Auckland Naval Volunteers, 
which had been brought round with the expedition commanded by 
Captain Jenkins. On January 20th, 1864, with troops under Colonel 
Carey, of the 18th Eoyal Irish, Jenkins weighed, and proceeded 
down the coast to Tauranga, leaving the Esk in the Thames. The 
Miranda, which was accompanied by the Corio, encountered no 
resistance on the shores of the Bay of Plenty ; and, when the troops 
had established themselves at Te Papa, the natives at first supplied 
them with provisions, though afterwards they became less willing 
to assist them. 

At that time, the Curaqoa was at Auckland, while most of her 
people, under the Commodore, were serving at the front ; the Harrier 
was in the Thames or at Manakau, also with most of her people at 
the front ; and the Eclipse was in the Waikato, with a detachment, 
under Lieutenant William Fletcher Boughey, co-operating with the 
troops. Sir Duncan Cameron lay for some weeks in the neighbour- 
hood of the native strongholds of Pikopiko and Paterangi ; but on 
the night of February 20th, he turned those positions by making a 
sudden flank march to Awamutu. The formidable works on the 
Waikato were instantly evacuated by the Maoris, who concentrated 
at Eangioawhia, where, on the 22nd, they were defeated, with con- 
siderable loss in killed and prisoners. The majority of the rebels in 
what are now Waikato, Eaglan, and Waipa counties then retired to 
Maungatautari, a stronghold on the Hurutiu. During these opera- 
tions the Navy appears to have suffered no loss ; and in the few 

1864.] THE GATE PAIL 183 

succeeding movements which terminated what has been called the 
Waikato campaign, the Navy had practically no share. 

In April, Sir Duncan Cameron had his headquarters at Pukerimu, 
on the Hurutiu, a place only about forty miles as the crow would fly, 
from Tauranga, on the east coast. Most of the Tauranga people 
had been engaged in the actions in Waikato ; and on April 1st, the 
Miranda, lying in the Bay, had been obliged to disperse a number of 
them who had come down to the coast in a threatening manner. 
Lieut. -Colonel Greer, 68th Eegiment, had by that time succeeded 
Colonel Carey in command at Te Papa ; and, believing his position 
to be precarious, he asked Sir Duncan Cameron for reinforcements. 
Cameron not only sent them, but also went himself to Tauranga, and 
procured the assistance of some of the squadron in conveying thither 
a part of the troops. The landing of these was completed on April 
26th. The force then ashore numbered 1695 of all ranks, and included 
429 officers and men from the Curagoa, Miranda, Esk, Eclipse, and 
Falcon. In the Bay were the Miranda, Esk, and Falcon, together 
with the colonial steamers Sandfly, Alexander, and Tauranga. The 
troops consisted mainly of the 43rd, 68th, and 70th Eegiments, some 
Eoyal Engineers, and some Eoyal Artillery ; and the guns landed 
were : one 110-pr. Armstrong, two 40-pr. Armstrongs, two 6-pr. 
Armstrongs, two 24-pr. field howitzers, two 8-in. mortars, and six 
coehorn mortars. A body of Maoris, said not to have exceeded 300 
in number, and alleged by themselves not to have exceeded 150, had 
constructed a formidable work about three miles from Te Papa, on a 
neck of land which on each side fell off into a swamp. It is known 
in history as the Gate Pah. On the highest point of the neck was 
an oblong palisaded redoubt ; and from the redoubt to the swamps 
were lines of rifle-pits. The rear of the position was accessible, 
though with difficulty ; and across it Colonel Greer, with the 68th 
Eegiment, succeeded in posting himself on the night of April 28th, 1 
while a feigned attack was being made on the enemy's front ; and he 
stationed himself in such a manner as to cut off the supply of water 
to the work, and also, theoretically, to be able to intercept the retreat 
of the garrison. It is clear that the rebels, deprived of their water, 
and having no guns, might have been easily reduced without any 
resort on the part of Cameron to the costly and disastrous tactics 
which he chose to pursue. 

1 On that day the Falcon had shelled the enemy out of a position at Maketu, and 
driven them along the beach to Otamarakau. 


The guns were planted in four positions at distances varying 
from 800 to 100 yards from the pah ; and soon after 6.30 A.M. on 
April 29th, after the Maoris had fired a volley at the British 
skirmishers, the guns opened simultaneously. Sir Duncan Cameron 
reported that the practice was excellent, but other eye-witnesses 
have declared that it was extremely wild. The rebels lay low in 
their schanzes, and made but little reply. At about noon, a 6-pr. 
gun was taken across the swamp on the enemy's left, and hauled on 
to the high ground, whence it enfiladed the rifle-pits on that side 
and presently caused their abandonment. The latter part of the 
bombardment having been directed chiefly against the left angle of 
the main work, the fence and palisades in that neighbourhood were 
destroyed, and a breach was effected by 4 P.M., when Cameron 
ordered an assault. For that purpose, 150 seamen and Marines, 
under Commander Edward Hay of the Harrier, and an equal number 
of the 43rd Eegiment, under Lieut.-Colonel Booth, had been told off. 
In addition, 170 men of the 70th Eegiment had been directed to 
extend, keep down the enemy's fire until the last possible moment, 
and then follow the assaulting column into the breach ; while the 
rest of the seamen and Marines, and of the 43rd, were to bring up 
the rear as a reserve. 

The assaulting column, favoured by the folds of the ground, 
gained the breach with but little loss, and entered the works, the 
68th, from the rear of the position, closing up at the same moment 
and driving back the Maoris, who were already attempting to bolt. 
Inside the pah the rebels fought with desperation, both Hay and 
Booth being mortally wounded soon after they had got through 
the breach. But the place would have been carried had not a 
panic, which Cameron professed himself unable to explain, seized 
the assaulting column, or, rather, as would appear, the part of it 
belonging to the 43rd. The men turned round, communicated the 
contagion to their fellows, and rushed out pell-mell, shrieking, 
;< There's thousands of them " ; and in an instant they were flying 
madly back. Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton, of the.E'sA-, with 
the reserve of the Naval Brigade, pushed up, but was shot dead on 
the top of the parapet. Nothing could be done to stop the disgraceful 
retreat ; and the rebels, boldly showing themselves and firing into 
the backs of the fugitives, did terrible execution. 

The force was at length rallied ; but Cameron cared not to renew 
the assault. Instead, he ordered a line of entrenchments to be 


thrown up within a hundred yards of the pah, intending to conduct 
further operations on the following morning. 

The night of the 29th was extremely dark. For a time the 
rebels, as was their custom in such circumstances, howled and 
shouted. Suddenly the noises ceased, and the sound of firing was 
heard from the rear. The Maoris, with very little loss, had escaped 
through the lines of the 68th ; and a British officer who crept into 
the pah at about midnight found it completely evacuated, save by 
a few British wounded, who had not been maltreated. Cameron, 
in his dispatch, says that the loss of the natives must have been 
very heavy, yet admits that only about 20 Maori killed and 6 
wounded were found about the position. Natives afterwards 
estimated their total loss at no more than between thirty and forty. 1 

"Allowing," says the correspondent of the Times, "that the 
best way of taking a Maori pah is to storm it in front, everything 
was done that skill and diligence could do to this end." The 
premise can hardly be admitted, seeing that Cameron had means 
of knowing that the pah was waterless, and therefore could not be 
held by the enemy for many hours ; nor, even admitting the premise, 
can the conclusion be granted. One of the rules of war is that, 
when a force of given strength has to be employed, a homogeneous 
force is better than a mixed one, unless it be necessary to utilise 
more than one arm, as, for example, cavalry and infantry. Another 
rule is to employ for any given service the force best suited by 
tradition and training for the work in hand. Cameron had with 
him nearly 300 officers and men of the 43rd, and more than double 
that number of the 68th ; yet, instead of taking what he appears to 
have deemed the necessary detachment of men for the assault from 
one of those corps, he took 150 from the 43rd, and added to them, 
not 150 from the 68th, but 150 from the Naval Brigade, a force which, 
looking to all the circumstances, ought, I venture to think, to have 
formed the reserve, and to have been given no other post. No doubt, 
the Navy craved to be allowed to share the dangers of the storm ; 
but to say that is far from saying that the General was wise in 
permitting it to do so. It should be added here that at Te Ranga, 
on June 21st following, the 43rd amply redeemed its laurels. 

The lamentable affair of the Gate Pah cost the British no fewer 
than 27 killed and 66 wounded. Of this tale, the casualties of the 
Navy were 3 officers and 8 men killed or mortally injured, and 
1 Col. Parl. Papers, 1864, E. 3, p. 60, 


3 officers and 19 men wounded. The officers who lost their Jives 
were Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton 1 (Eslc), Commander 
Edward Hay 2 (Harrier), and Lieutenant Charles Hill 3 (Curasao) ;. 
and the officers wounded were George Graham Duff (Eslc), Lieu- 
tenant Robert Frederick Hammick (Miranda), and Sub-Lieutenant 
Philip Reginald Hastings Parker (Falcon). 4 ' 

The Naval Brigade behaved admirably, and retired only when 
nearly all its leading officers had been shot down. The Commodore 
and Captain Jenkins had most marvellous escapes. After Com- 
mander Hay had been mortally hit, a seaman named Samuel 
Mitchell went to his assistance, and, although ordered by his officer 
to leave him and consult his own safety, carried Hay out of the 
pah. The act of devotion gained the brave fellow the Victoria 
Cross. 5 

In recognition of the gallantry displayed by the Navy in New 
Zealand, and especially in the affair of the Gate Pah, the Admiralty 
made the following promotions : 

To be Captain : Com. Henry Bourchier Fhillimore (July 14th, 1864). 

To be Commanders : Lieut. George Graham Duff (Ap. 29th, 1864) ; Lieut. Charles 
Frederick Hotham (upon completing sea-time, Ap. 19th, 1865) ; Lieut. John 
Thomlinson Swarm (July 14th, 1864). 

To be Lieutenants : Sub-Lieut. Philip Reginald Hastings Parker (Ap. 29th, 1864) 
Actg.-Lieut. Archer John AVilliam Musgrave (on passing required examina- 
tion, to date Ap. 29th, 1864) ; Sub-Lieut. Paul Storr (July 14th, 1864) ; Sub- 
Lieut. John Hope (July 14th, 1864). 

In addition, the names of Lieuts. Robert Sidney Hunt, and Robert Frederick 
Hammick, and Lieut. (R.M.A.) Robert Ballard Gardner, were ordered to be 
favourably noted. 

Iii the latter part of this unfortunate war, which dragged on for 
a considerable period, and which owed its prolongation not only to 
the bravery of the enemy, but also to the supineness and divided 
counsels of the British, the Navy had comparatively little share ; 
nor was it called upon to do anything of importance in connection 
with the repression of the brief New Zealand rebellion of 1869. 
Among the vessels which were more particularly concerned, especially 
in the earlier part of the period, were the Eclipse, 4, Commander 

1 Aged 42 ; a Capt. of 1858. 

2 Aged 28 ; a Com. of 1858. A memorial to those of the Harrier's people who fell 
in New Zealand was erected in 1865 in Kingston Church, Portsmouth. 

3 A survivor of the wreck of the Orpheus. 

4 Gazette, July 15th, 1864 ; Corr. of Times ; Fox, 112. 

5 Gazette, July 20th, 1864. 


Edmund Eobert Fremantle ; Brisk, 16, Captain Charles Webley 
Hope ; and Esk, 21, Captain John Proctor Luce. 

Several effective blows were struck at the West African slave 
trade in 1861, especially in the Niger, and in the Gambia. 

The chief, or petty king, of Porto Novo, in the Niger river, 
a creature of the King of Dahomey, having been troublesome 
for some time, Commander Henry Eushworth Wratislaw, of the 
Banger, 5, screw gun-vessel, put seventeen seamen and Marines, 
and a gunner on board the paddle tender Brune, Lieutenant John 
Edward Stokes, and escorted that craft up to Badagry on February 
24th, whence she proceeded alone to Porto Novo. Consul Foote, 
who accompanied the little expedition, sent ashore a message to the 
effect that, if his demands were not previously complied with, the 
Brune would^ open fire on the town at 11 A.M. on the 25th ; and 
then the vessel, dropping three miles down the creek, anchored for 
the night. On the following day, though no reply had been vouch- 
safed, the British waited until 1.20 P.M., when they opened fire, 
which was returned. During the action a number of friendly Lagos 
men, who desired to take refuge on board the tender, were mistaken 
for enemies, and unfortunately fired upon. After some hours' 
bombardment, the Brune returned to Badagry to await results. 
The king presently sent down to the Badagry chiefs, asking them 
to intercede for them ; whereupon the Consul consented to await 
the arrival of an envoy at Lagos, and to give the king three weeks 
wherein to comply with his requirements. 

The king was so ill-advised as to allow himself to be influenced 
by the king of Dahomey to refuse satisfaction, and to boom the 
river. A further expedition was therefore necessary. The Consul 
called on Commodore William Edmonstone, of the Arrogant, 47, 
screw, for assistance ; and, in consequence, an expedition, consisting 
of the Brune, Fidelity, 1 Lieutenant Kobert Barclay Cay, and boats 
of the squadron on the station, the Commodore accompanying it, 
moved up from Lagos to Badagry Creek on April 23rd, 1861. On 
the 26th it proceeded to Porto Novo, and, on approaching the town, 
opened fire with rockets, grape, canister, and shell, the enemy 
making a brisk return. In an hour the place was ablaze; but the 
natives, driven from the buildings, concealed themselves in the 
thick grass at the edge of the stream, whence they were not dis- 
lodged until a party under Commander Henry James Eaby, V.C., 

1 A hired Liverpool vessel. 


of the Alecto, 5, paddle, had landed and expelled them. It was 
computed that about 500 of the enemy fell. The British loss was 
but 1 killed, and 4 or 5 wounded. As soon as possible, the slave 
barracoons at Porto Novo were destroyed ; and the expedition, 
which had in no way suffered from fever, returned to Lagos on 
April 28th. The results were excellent, the king conceding all 
demands. 1 

At the time of the first attack on Forto Novo, the Commodore 
and part of his command had been occupied to the northward. The 
King of Baddiboo, on the Gambia, had robbed some British mer- 
chants, and, upon being called upon to pay a fine of bullocks, had 
offered to fight the British. He had been so unwise as to annoy 
his French neighbours at the same time ; and an international 
expedition had accordingly been organised against him. 

The British portion of the force consisted of the Arrogant, 47, 
screw, Commodore William Edmonstone, the Falcon, 17, screw, 
Commander Algernon Charles Fieschi Heneage, and the Torch, 5, 
screw, Commander Frederick Harrison Smith, or detachments from 
them, together with the 1st and 2nd West India Eegiments, the 
Gold Coast Artillery, and the Bathurst Kifles. The Forte, 51, 
flagship of Bear-Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, Captain Edward 
Winterton Tumour, also proceeded as far as the mouth of the river ; 
but, finding that the services of his ship did not appear to be indis- 
pensable, 2 Keppel sailed again at once in order generously to leave 
the Commodore to acquire the whole of whatever credit might result 
from the coming operations. 

A Naval Brigade under the Commodore in person, with Lieu- 
tenant Walter James Hunt-Grubbe as second in command, was 
formed ; and a landing was effected, under cover of the guns of the 
Torch, in Swarricunda Creek, the banks of which were lined with 
rifle-pits and held by the enemy. When the natives had been 
dispersed, the Brigade began a march of several hours' duration in 
the direction of the strongly stockaded and well-garrisoned town of 
Saba. On February 21st, the place was vigorously bombarded, 
rockets as well as shells being employed ; and, as soon as the 
defence showed signs of having been shaken, the position was 
attacked in flank by the Naval Brigade, which, gallantly led by the 
Commodore, successfully rushed it, and inflicted very heavy loss 
upon the enemy, but itself lost 6 killed and about 15 wounded. 
1 Foote's Rep. * Keppel, III., 71, 72. 

1862.] MINOR AFFAIRS. 189 

In December of the same year, part of the West Coast command 
was employed in retributive operations against the petty King of 
Quiah, Massongha being captured and destroyed on the 10th, and 
some stockades at Madonika being taken on the 19th of that month. 

In 1861 there were frequent and troublesome disputes between 
the Scots and French fishermen in the home seas, the latter at one 
time assuming a very offensive attitude. The Lizard, 1, paddle, 
Lieutenant Edward Eyre Maunsell, tender to the flagship at 
Sheerness, did good work by capturing twenty-four French luggers 
which, with numerous others, had contravened the fishing regula- 
tions, or wilfully annoyed the north countrymen ; and the lesson 
had a most beneficial effect, and was not forgotten for years. 

The minor operations of the Navy in 1862 were neither numerous 
nor, except in China, very interesting. During her commission, 
which had begun in 1860, the Ariel, 9, screw, Commanders John 
Richard Alexander and William Cox Chapman, was particularly 
successful against slavers on the east coast of Africa, capturing no 
fewer than eighteen in 1862-4. On the west coast, one of the most 
energetic cruisers was the Zebra, 17, Commander Anthony Hiley 
Hoskins, which commissioned in the spring of 1862. Among her 
numerous prizes was the large slaver Maraquita, commanded by the 
famous American skipper, Bowen. On the same station the Flying 
Fish, 6, screw, Commander Warren Hastings Anderson, was also 
active and successful, especially just prior to her recall in the 
summer of 1862. A disturbance at Cape Coast Castle in October, 
arising out of the mutinous attitude of the Gold Coast Artillery, was 
put down with the assistance of the Brisk, 16, screw, Captain John 
Proctor Luce, and the Zebra. In other seas, it fell to the lot of the 
squadron under Bear-Admiral Eichard Laird Warren, on the south- 
east coast of America, to carry out a few mild reprisals against 
Brazil in consequence of a brief and unimportant misunderstanding 
with that empire, and to that of the Harrier, 17, screw, Com- 
mander Sir Malcolm MacGregor, Bart., to chastise some troublesome 
natives of the Fiji Islands. 

The minor naval events of 1863 were still more few and unim- 
portant. In consequence of the difficulties with Ashantee, some 
officers and men from the West Coast of Africa squadron were 
employed for a time at Cape Coast Castle ; and, as in many other 
years, a small naval expedition ascended the Congo. In the 
Mediterranean, during the revolutionary troubles in Greece, Captain 


Charles Farrel Hillyar, of the Queen, 74, screw, had occasion more 
than once to land Marines, especially in July, when a force under 
Lieutenant James Woodward Scott, E.M., undertook the protection 
of the British Legation at Athens. 

It is very difficult to understand the nature of the events which 
led to American and European interference in the affairs of Japan, 
without first glancing briefly at the ancient political condition of 
the island empire. 

The old constitution of the land was a despotism, feudal, military, 
and hierarchical, under a Mikado. About the twelfth century of 
the Christian era there arose a " Mayor of the Palace " in the 
person of an officer known eventually as the Tycoon, or, more 
properly, as the Shogun an officer who assumed the political 
and military management of the country, the Mikado retaining, 
as years passed, little more than the religious headship. The office 
of Shogun descended through three families and many vicissitudes ; 
and its powers were gradually modified by the upgrowth of a very 
large class of Samurai, or retainers of great nobles men of birth 
and education, but hereditary fighters or, in peace time, hereditary 
idlers. The highest class of these, as head retainers of the Daimios, 
came to occupy with regard to their nominal masters much the 
same kind of relationship as was held by the Shogun to the Mikado ; 
for both Mikado and Daimios, brought up apart from the people 
and surrounded with every indulgence, had temporarily lost the 
fire and energy of their ancestors. This condition of affairs was 
a fruitful source of discontent and intrigue. 

The position of the Shoguns was a curious one. They steadily 
increased their power and importance in the state, yet, though 
actual rulers of the empire, professed a most abject deference to 
the person of the Mikado, and, moreover, were social inferiors 
of many of the Daimios. Indeed, a Shogun, unless by birth so 
entitled, was not allowed even to look upon the face of the Mikado ; 
while, at the same time, such was his authority that he was able to 
compel the Daimios to spend every alternate year at his capital, 
Jeddo, and to override their views. The Daimios had a right 
of appeal to the Mikado, but seldom exercised it. 

In the nineteenth century the Daimios had begun to chafe 
under this state of things ; and those of them who came in contact 
with the Mikado, as periodical protectors of his person and palace, 
resenting the nonentity of their master, set on foot an agitation in 

1853-62.] AFFAIRS IN JAPAN. 191 

favour of a return to a more natural system, with the Mikado as 
ruler, and the Shogun as commander-in-chief, and no more. When, 
in 1853, Commodore M. C. Perry first appeared in Japan with an 
American squadron, and demanded a treaty, threatening hostilities 
in the event of a refusal, matters were ripening for a change. The 
Shogun and his advisers, called Bakufu by the Japanese, were 
thrown into consternation, and having no precedent to guide them 
a lack which is as puzzling to the Oriental mind as it is to the 
British Admiralty were unable to act with decision. The opinions 
of the Daimios were asked, and ideas were welcomed from any one 
who was capable of giving them. The Americans, made aware of 
the perplexities of the situation and of the tumults which took place 
near Jeddo in consequence, withdrew, to return in the following 
year ; and in the meantime the Shogun died, and was succeeded by 
his son, Jyesada, thirteenth of the Tokugawa dynasty. 

In 1854 Perry returned ; and hot debates ensued at Jeddo. 
Prince Mito, a powerful noble, objected to the opening up of the 
country ; but the officials of the Shogun, better educated, pointed 
out the impossibility of excluding foreigners at that time, when 
Japan was unprepared for war, and urged that, while complying 
for the moment, the country might learn the drill and tactics 
of the strangers, purchase foreign ships and guns, and, when ready 
for action, unite and drive the interlopers into the sea, and perhaps 
even embark on a career of foreign conquest. The result was 
the signing of the convention with the United States in 1858, and 
the subsequent conclusion of similar engagements with other 
powers, Yokohama at the same time being opened for trade. 

The Mikado and his counsellors at Kioto disapproved of the 
action of the Shogun, and unanimously declined to sanction the 
treaties. This course injured the prestige of the Shogun in the 
eyes of the people ; and the Shogun, realising his weakness, selected 
a Regent to support him. The action of the Mikado encouraged 
the prevalent anti-foreign feeling. Of the idle and warlike Samurai, 
there were 30,000 in the country, and attacks on foreigners became 

In the autumn of 1858 the Shogun died, it is supposed by poison. 
Prince Mito nominated for the succession his own kinsman, 
Hitosubashi ; but one Jyemochi, of the Kishiu family, obtained 
the office, whereupon a powerful clique of Daimios, headed by Mito, 
privately banded themselves together against the new Shogun, and 


memorialised the Mikado to expel the barbarians at once. The 
Kegent, on his part, suspecting that Jyesada had met his death 
by foul play, ordered several of the Daimios to retire to their 
estates, and directed Prince Satsuma and others to confine them- 
selves to their palaces in Jeddo. This policy led to fighting, the 
Eegent having the best of it, but carrying things with so high 
a hand as to increase the exasperation of the growing anti-foreign 
party, and to bring about numerous murders of foreigners and 
their servants. In 1860 the Eegent was assassinated by the 
followers of Mito, greatly to the loss of the party of the Shogun, 
which in consequence was obliged to temporise, and to isolate the 
foreigners as much as possible. The Shogun, indeed, who in 1858 
had been strong enough to punish even nobles for opposing inter- 
course with the outer world, dared not in 1860 set the laws in 
motion against the murderers of Americans and Europeans. The 
Shogun tried to improve his position by inducing his friends to 
bring about a marriage between himself and the sister of the 
Mikado ; and the marriage took place in 1861 ; but it did not mend 
matters. Prince Mito instigated an attack on the British Legation 
at Jeddo in the same year ; and, as he had in his possession a secret 
document from the Mikado, commanding him to endeavour to 
reconcile the differences at Jeddo, and to induce the Shogun to 
exterminate the barbarians, he had authority for his action. The 
Shogun was then obliged to admit his inability to protect strangers. 
He made all kinds of efforts, which were not then understood, 
to persuade the Legations to remove from Jeddo to Yokohama, 
where they could be more easily defended. The people who had 
attacked the British Legation were, it is true, executed ; but the 
government was so afraid of popular feeling that it had to announce 
that the culprits were punished, not for assaulting foreigners, but 
for highway robbery. 

The strength of popular feeling showed itself again in January, 
1862, when, although Mito, the great anti-foreigner, had died in the 
previous September, Ando Tsushima, one of the Shogun's council, 
and a protector of foreigners, was nearly murdered in the street, and 
upon his recovery was made to retire into private life, thanks to the 
influence of the Mikado's party. Up to that time, however, no 
Daimio had openly declared himself against the Shogun, although 
many retainers of Daimios had voluntarily outlawed themselves in 
order to gain freedom of action against the foreigners. 


In the spring of 1862 a new force appeared upon the scene, 
in the person of Shimadzu Sabura, uncle of the then Prince of 
Satsuma. While on his way to obtain an amnesty for the political 
prisoners who had been sentenced by the Eegent in 1860, he was 
met by a large body of the outlaws, or Konins, who begged him 
to memorialise the Mikado to go forth in person against the 
barbarians, to abolish the Shogunate, and to punish the Shogun's 
council. Bhimadzu Sabura presented the petitions, and soon after- 
wards an amnesty was granted to the political prisoners. Choshiu, 
Prince of Nagato, was in Kioto at about the same time ; and to him 
and Shirnadzu Sabura was entrusted the somewhat difficult task of 
keeping the Ronins quiet. Thus the great clans of Satsuma and 
Choshiu became for a time associated in a combination against the 
Jeddo government, and in an opposition which had the Mikado at 
its back. 

Another attack on the British Legation occurred in June, 1862. 
The Shogun's council was too feeble to take active measures against 
the culprits, and, in face of the attitude of the surrounders of the 
Mikado, was unable either to satisfy the foreign representatives or 
to appease the enmity of its political opponents. In June, 1862, the 
Mikado ordered the Shogun to expel the foreigners, and to appear at 
Kioto to consult with the Court, leaving proper persons at Jeddo to 
carry out his functions there. The chief of the persons so left was 
the same Hitosubashi who had been Mito's nominee for the 
Shogunate. There could have been no more conclusive evidence 
of the decadence of the once great authority of the Shogun. In 
September, 1862, Shimadzu Sabura was greatly incensed at the 
scant courtesy shown to him by the ministers of the Shogun, and, it 
is probable, was only too ready to countenance the outrage 1 which, 
led, in 1863, to hostilities between Great Britain and Japan. 

The Euryalus, flagship of Vice-Admiral Kuper, arrived at 
Yokohama on the day of the outrage, the nature of which will be 
explained later. Upon representations being made, the Shogun's 
council expressed its regret, but frankly admitted its inability to 
force so powerful a Daimio as Satsuma to surrender the guilty 
parties. In the meantime Shimadzu Sabura had received the thanks 
of the Mikado for his services, and Prince Tosa had arrived at 
Kioto and joined Satsuma and Choshiu in the policy of opposition 
to foreigners. This seems to have stimulated the Mikado's advisers 

1 The outrage was committed on Sept. 14th, 1862. 


to order the Shogun, who had not yet left Jeddo, to take command 
of the clans in the spring of 1863, when he was due at Kioto, and 
drive the foreigners into the sea. The unfortunate Shogun, 
continuing to temporise, agreed to obey the commands of the 
Mikado, and, at the same time, while keeping peace with the 
foreigners, tried, by making their position intolerable, to induce 
them to leave the country. The foreign representatives, on the 
other hand, were daily becoming more and more convinced that the 
Shogun had little real power, and no authority to sign treaties. 

Strengthened by the arrival of numerous Daimios, the Mikado 
called a meeting at Kioto on April 8th, 1863, a fortnight before the 
appearance of the Shogun, and, ordering the expulsion of foreigners 
from Japan, directed that his will should be conveyed to the 
Samurai. Strangers were, in consequence, liable from that moment 
to be murdered, and were deprived of all protection and all redress, 
save what might be obtained by the exercise of force. 

The Legations were, one by one, driven from Jeddo ; and the 
cordon round Yokohama, where they took refuge, was gradually 
narrowed in preparation for their final expulsion. A large force of 
European ships was kept close at hand ; seamen and marines were 
landed to protect the settlement ; and, off each of the other ports in 
which there were Europeans, a man-of-war lay with banked fires, 
ready, at an instant's notice, to embark the fugitives. The old 
custom, in virtue of which the Daimios had spent every alternate 
year in Jeddo, and had always left their wives and families there, 
had been abrogated at the end of 1862 ; so that a wholesome restraint 
upon the conduct of the malcontent princes, and a formidable 
instrument of power in the hands of the Shogun, had disappeared. 

On June 5th, 1863, at the instigation of Shimadzu Sabura, the 
25th of the same month was fixed as the day on which the complete 
expulsion of the foreigners was to be effected ; and it then became 
necessary for the Shogun to make up his mind whether he would 
carry out the behests of the Mikado, or would join hands with the 
foreigners, bolster up his own power, and try to overthrow his 
opponents. In his perplexity, he asked for permission to return to 
Jeddo. It was refused, and his rival, Prince Mito, was sent thither 
instead of him. 

Since April the Shogun's council had tried to procrastinate in its 
replies to the demands for satisfaction on account of the outrage of 
the previous September. It had at last promised to pay the 


indemnity on June 18th ; but as soon as Prince Mito reached Jeddo, 
a refusal to pay was announced. On June 24th, moreover, a decree 
was promulgated by the Shogun, who was stated to have received 
" orders " to that effect from the Mikado, " to close the open ports 
and remove the subjects of the treaty powers." The indemnity 
was, however, handed over when the Council learnt that the 
settlement of the business had been placed in the hands of Vice- 
Admiral Kuper. A little later the Council secretly approached the 
treaty powers with a request for assistance in overthrowing the 
Mikado and his party. This was refused ; but while the answer of 
the foreigners was still unknown, the Council, through Hitosubashi, 
reported that the orders of the Mikado could not be carried out. 

The apparent lack of patriotism displayed by the Shogun's party 
proportionably increased the fanaticism of the Kioto faction, the 
result being that on June 25th Choshiu opened fire on some French, 
American, and Dutch vessels at Simonoseki. At this crisis the 
Shogun behaved very well. He might have made capital by joining 
the popular movement, and encouraging a general massacre of 
foreigners ; and, as he was at Kioto, he might have pleaded duress. 
His council, too, at Jeddo, though playing a double game, succeeded 
in causing the defence of Yokohama to be handed over to the foreign 
executive authorities. Choshiu, for his part, received the approval 
of the Mikado; and although, on July 20th, the French Rear- 
Admiral Jaures, with a couple of ships, bombarded the Simonoseki 
batteries, and, landing, spiked some of their guns, the United States 
corvette Wyoming, which tried single-handed to punish Choshiu in 
the same manner, ran aground under the forts, and did not get off 
until she had been rather roughly handled. 1 

I may now revert to the outrage of September, 1862, and describe 
the hostilities which resulted from it. 

The cause of the quarrel is sufficiently explained in a letter 
addressed on August 1st, 1863, by Lieut. -Colonel Edward St. John 
Neale, Her Majesty's Charge d' Affaires in Japan, to the Prince of 
Satsuma. The important part of this communication is as follows : 

" YOUR HIGHNESS, It is well known to you that a barbarous murder of an un- 
armed and unoffending British subject and merchant was perpetrated on the 14th of 
the month of September last . . . upon the Tokaido, near Kanagawa, by persons 
attending the procession, and surrounding the norimon of, ShimaJzu Sabbura, who, I 

1 See Griffis, in N. Amer. Review, 1875 ; Adams, ' History of Japan ' ; Hiibner's 
1 Prom, autour du Monde ' ; For. Off. Corr. ; and Farret, ' Operats. de Guerre Marit.' 



am informed, is the father 1 of your Highness. It is equally known to you that a 
murderous assault was made at the same time by the same retinue upon a lady and 
two other gentlemen, British subjects, by whom he was accompanied, the two gentlemen 
having been severely and seriously wounded, and the lady escaping by a miracle. The 
names of the British subjects here referred to are as follows : Mr. Charles Lenox 
Richardson, murdered; Mrs. Borradaile; Mr. William Clarke, severely wounded; 
Mr. William Marshal, severely wounded. . . . Ten months have now elapsed since 
the perpetration of this unprovoked outrage . . . but I have had occasion to report to 
my Government that, removed in your distant domain from the direct influence of the 
supreme Government, and shielded also by certain privileges and immunities . . . you 
had utterly disregarded all orders or decrees of the Japanese Government calling upon 
you to afford justice by sending the real criminals to Yeddo. ... In the meantime, I 
have received the explicit instructions of my own Government how to act in this 
matter. . . . When British subjects are the victims of those acts, Japan, as a nation, 
must, through its Government, pay a penalty, and disavow the deeds of its subjects, to 
whatever rank they may belong. ... I demanded from the Tycoon's Government an 
apology and the payment of a considerable penalty. . . . Both these demands have 
been acceded to. But the British Government has also decided that those circum- 
stances constitute no reason why the real delinquents and actual murderers should be 
shielded by your Highness, or by any means escape the condign punishment which 
they merit. ... I am instructed to demand of your Highness as follows : First. The 
immediate trial and execution, in the presence of one or more of Her Majesty's naval 
officers, of the chief perpetrators of the murder of Mr. liichardson, and of the murderous 
assault upon the lady and gentlemen who accompanied him. Secondly. The payment 
of 25,000 sterling, to be distributed to the relations of the murdered man, and to those 
who escaped with their lives the swords of the assassins on that occasion. These 
demands are required by Her Majesty's Government to be acceded to by your Highness 
immediately upon their being made known to you. And upon your refusing, neglecting, 
or evading to do so, the Admiral commanding the British forces in these seas will adopt 
such coercive measures, increasing in their severity, as he may deem expedient to obtain 
the required satisfaction. . . ." 

On August 13th the Minister of the Prince of Satsuma replied 
with a temporising and otherwise unsatisfactory letter ; and on the 
14th Lieut. -Colonel Neale, by dispatch, requested Vice-Admiral 2 
Augustus Leopold Kuper, C.B., Commander-in-Chief on the East 
Indies and China station, to enter upon such measures of coercion 
as he might deem expedient.' 

The Vice-Admiral's available force consisted of H.M.S. 3 




Norn. H.P. Compt. 



| 35 




fCapt. John James Stephen Josling. 
\Corn. Edward Wilmot. 

Pearl . 





Capt. John Borlase, C.B. 






Com. John Hobhouse Inglis Alexander. 

Argus . 





Com. Lewis James Moore. 






Com. Augustus John Kingston. 


1 4 




Com. Charles Richard Fox Boxer. 


' 1 2 


60 40 

Lieut. ( ieorge Poole. 

1 Apparently he was uncle. 2 Temporary rank only. 

8 The Euryalus, a wooden screw frigate, originally of 51 guns, was built at 


From the Vice-Admiral's dispatch of August 17th to Lieut.- 
Colonel Neale, and from that of August 22nd to the Secretary 
of the Admiralty, is compiled the succeeding account of what 
occurred : 

On the forenoon of the 14th inst., Kuper quitted the Eunjalus 
and proceeded in the Havock in order to satisfy himself as to the 
position of three steamers, the property of the Prince of Satsuma, 
which were lying in a bay to the northward of Kagosima. These 
steamers were the England, screw, 1150 tons, purchased for 125,000 
dollars ; the Sir George Grey, screw, 492 tons, purchased for 85,000 
dollars ; and the Contest, screw, 350 tons, purchased for 95,000 
dollars. He found deep water in the bay, there being generally 
fifty fathoms within a hundred yards of the shore. A strong breeze 
from the eastward had sprung up, and, the rapid falling of the 
barometer indicating the probable approach of a typhoon or heavy 
gale, the top-gallant masts were sent on deck. 

Kuper received the dispatch of the -14th inst. on the evening of 
that day ; and the Pearl, Coquette, Argus, Racehorse, and Havock 
were sent at daylight on the 15th to seize the three steamers 
already referred to. Captain Borlase, the senior officer, was directed 
to avoid as much as possible all unnecessary bloodshed or active 

" The steamers were accordingly taken possession of without opposition, and 
brought down to our anchorage during the forenoon of the 15th, lashed alongside the 
Coquette, Argus, and Racehorse, which vessels anchored in the same bay as before. . . . 
The weather still looked threatening. At noon, during a squall, accompanied by much 
rain, the whole of the batteries * on the Kagosima side suddenly opened fire upon the 
Euryalus? the only ship within range ; but although many shot and shell passed over 
and close around her, no damage was done beyond cutting away a few ropes. Finding 
that the springs on the cable would not keep the ship's broadside on, and as it was 
impossible, with the comparatively small force at my command, to engage the batteries 
under way, and, at the same time, to retain possession of the steamers, I signalled to 
the Coquette, Argus and Racehorse to burn their prizes, and then to the whole squadron 

Chatham in 1853. The Pearl, a wooden screw corvette, was launched at Woolwich in 
1854. The Coquette, a wooden screw gun-vessel, was built in 1855. The Argus, a 
wooden paddle-wheel sloop, was built at Portsmouth in 1849. The 2'erseus was a 
wooden screw sloop, built at Pembroke in 1861. The Racehorse was a wooden screw 
gun-vessel built in 1860. The Havock, of the " Albacore class," was one of 116 
similar wooden screw gun-vessels built at the time of the Russian War. 

1 About 88 guns and mortars were in position, including at least three 10-in. and 
two 8-in. guns, and forty 32- and 24-prs. 

The Euryalus was taken entirely by surprise. The late Sir Alfred Jephson 
told me that she ' hastily weighed, while her band played, " Oh dear, what can the 
matter be V " 


to weigh and form the line of battle according to seniority, 1 the Havock being directed 
to secure the destruction of the three steamers. Previous to this, the Perseus, having 
slipped her cable, was directed to fire on the north battery until the signal was made 
to form line of battle, which service was executed by Commander A. J. Kingston with 
great promptness. 

" Although the weather was now very dirty, with every indication of a typhoon, I 
considered it advisable not to postpone, until another day, the return of the fire of the 
Japanese, to punish the Prince of Satsuma for the outrage, and to vindicate the honour 
of the flag; and, everything being now ready, I proceeded towards the batteries, 
opening fire upon the northernmost one with considerable effect ; and passed, at slow 
speed, along the whole line within point-blank range. Owing, probably, to the un- 

WM y, . . a , > iV"A?- ^Ja 



C-hiefly from a survey i>y 
the Masters of the 


^>5Si. ffOt/MiXJfS 


KG? ?DO O 



favourable state of the weather, the ships astern did not maintain their positions in as 
close order as I could have wished, and the Euryalus was consequently exposed to a 
very heavy and well-directed fire from several of the batteries at the same time, and 
suffered somewhat severely. About this time, also, and whilst in the thickest of the 
action, I deeply regret to state that I was deprived, at the same moment, of the 
assistance of Captain Josling 2 and Commander Wilmot, 3 both of whom were killed by 
the same shot, whilst standing by me on the bridge of the Euryalus, directing the fire 

1 This order is observed in the tabulated list given on p. 196. 

2 Captain John James Stephen Josliug's commissions bore date: Lieutenant, 
July 25th, 1847; Commander, Nov. 2nd, 1854; and Captain, Jan. 31st, 1861. 

3 Commander Edward Wilmot's commissions bore date: Lieutenant, Sept. 26th, 
1853 ; Commander, Dec. 24th, 1861. He had served in the Black Sea, in the Soya I 
Albert, during the Russian War. 


of the quarters and setting an example of coolness and gallantry which was emulated 
throughout the entire ship. 

" In consequence of the dense smoke, and occasional heavy showers, it was difficult 
to ascertain the extent of the damage done to the earthwork batteries, but by the time 
the Euryalus got abreast of the last, or southernmost battery, I could observe the town 
to be on fire in several places ; and, the weather having now assumed a most threat- 
ening appearance, I considered it advisable to discontinue the engagement, and to seek 
a secure anchorage for Her Majesty's ships. The Racehorse, owing to a momentary 
stoppage of her engines, unfortunately took the ground opposite the northern battery : 
but by the prompt energy of the commanders of the Coquette, Argus, and Havock, 
which vessels were despatched to her assistance, she was got off without damage. The 
steady fire kept up by Commander C. B. F. Boxer prevented the Racehorse receiving 
any serious injury from the battery, which had already been much disabled by the fire 
of the other ships. The Havock was then ordered to set fire to five large junks 
belonging to the Prince of Satsuma, which Lieutenant George Poole accomplished in 
a most satisfactory manner ; and these, as well as a very extensive arsenal and foundry 
for the manufacture of guns, shot, and shell, together with large storehouses adjoining, 
were also completely destroyed. 

" During the whole of the succeeding night it blew almost a hurricane, but all the 
vessels of the squadron rode it out without accident, with the exception of the Perseus, 
which vessel dragged her anchors off the bank into 60 fathoms water, and was 
compelled to slip her cable during the following afternoon, when the gale had some- 
what moderated. The gale subsided gradually during the 16th, and, as I had observed 
the Japanese at work, apparently erecting batteries on the hill above the anchorage, 
enveloped in trees and bushes, which might have inflicted much damage upon the 
small vessels lying within pistol-shot of the shore, I became anxious for their safety, 
and determined to move the squadron out of the anchorage we had occupied upon the 
night of our arrival in the gulf, for the purpose of repairing damages, fishing spars, 
and refitting previous to proceeding to sea. The squadron accordingly weighed at 
three P.M. of the 16th, and, passing in line between the batteries of Kagosima and 
Sakurasima, steamed through the channel and anchored to the southward of the island, 
taking advantage of the occasion to shell the batteries on the Sakura side, which had 
not been previously engaged, and also the palace of the prince in Kagosima. A feeble 
fire only was returned from the batteries which had not been closely engaged in the 
first attack, and this, happily, without effect upon Her Majesty's ships. . . . With much 
regret I have to add that the returns received from the various ships present a list of 
casualties unusually great, being no less than 13 ' killed and 50 wounded, the half of 
which occurred in my flagship alone. ... I left the gulf of Kagosima, in company 
with the squadron, on the afternoon of the 17th inst., on my return to Yokohama." 

This engagement did much to discredit a type of gun which was 
then new to the Navy. An officer who was present in the Euryalus 
wrote to me : 

" We had on our main-deck 32-pr. 56 cwt. muzzle-loaders ; and they, of course, 
gave no trouble. On our quarter-deck we had four 40-pr. Armstrongs, and we got two 
or three from the port side over to the spare ports on the starboard side to make a 
larger battery. These all worked well. But in the forecastle we had a 7-in. B. L. 
110-pr. Armstrong. Whether the men in the heat of the action became hurried I 
cannot say; but certain it is that the breech piece of this gun blew out with 

1 In addition to the two officers already named, Gunner Thomas Finn, of tho 
Coquette, was killed. 


tremendous effect, the concussion knocking down the whole gun's crew, and apparently 
paralysing the men, until Webster, captain of the forecastle and of the gun, roused 

them by shouting: 'Well; is there ere a b of you will go and get the spare vent 


It is of first-rate importance that men should have confidence in 
the safety of their weapons. Naturally the type of gun in question 
never again commanded much confidence. 

During the engagement, a 10-in. shell from the batteries 
exploded near the muzzle of one of the guns on the main deck of 
the Eurijalm, killing seven men, and wounding Lieutenant Alfred 
Jephson, and five others. The remaining officers wounded were 
Assistant-Paymaster George Washington Jones, and Gunner W. 
Sale (Euryalus) ; Carpenter M. Armstrong (Pearl) ; Lieutenant 
D'Arcy Anthony Denny, and Gunner W. Harris (Coquette) ; and 
Lieutenant Francis Joseph Pitt, Master Kobert Gilpin, and Midship- 
man John Kobert Aylen (Perseus). 1 

The promotions consequent upon this engagement were : 

To be Captains: Corns. John Hobhouse Inglis Alexander (Aug. 16), and Lewis 

James Moore (Nov. Jl). 
To be Commanders: Lieuts. James Edward Hunter, and Arthur George Robertson 

Roe (Aug. 16), and James Augustus Poland, and George Poole (Nov. 9). 
To be Surgeon : Asst. Surg. Charles Richard Godfrey (Nov. 9). 

Because of the typhoon, and the rolling of the ships, many of 
the shot intended for the batteries fell in the wood and paper town, 
and set it on fire. For this, Vice-Admiral Kuper was strongly 
blamed in the House of Commons ; and was as warmly defended by 
a brother flag-officer, who, in the heat of argument, used the word 
" damn," and, upon being called to order, created much amusement 
by apologising for having uttered language which, he said, " so 
seldom fell from the lips of sailors." Master William Hennessey 
Parker, of the flagship, steered his vessel with great judgment, 
taking her at times within 400 yards of the batteries ; yet Kuper 
continually spurred him with : " Go in closer, Parker ; go in closer ! " 
Owing to the heavy sea in which the action was fought, the decks 
were afloat. 

It should be mentioned that, previous to the action at Kagosima, 
the Shogun had quitted Kioto, with the expressed intention of 
returning to Jeddo overland. He had, however, embarked in a 

1 Oazctte, Oct. 30, 1863; Japan Comm. News, Aug. 26; corr. of Times; For. 
Off. corr. 


steamer at Osaka, and so had reached Jeddo on July 31st. No 
doubt he feared for his safety. 

The effect of Kuper's action was immense, especially on the 
powerful Satsuma following. That great clan learnt, and never 
again forgot, that Japan was not the strongest power in the world, 
and that there were other nations which, though far away, were, 
even in Japan, to be feared as being both stronger and more 
civilised. Satsuma's people subsequently took the lead in general 
progress, and in introducing European machinery and inventions to 
their compatriots. 

Yet, although the conversion of the anti-foreign party had begun, 
the Shogun did not regain his prestige. In the autumn of 1863, a 
European-built steamer, carrying Japanese colours, and bearing 
envoys from him, was fired upon by Choshiu. Choshiu, however, soon 
went too far. Early in October, 1863, he formed a plan to carry off 
the Mikado from his palace, one of the gates of which was in charge 
of the Nagato clan. The plot was discovered in time ; Satsuma's 
people were summoned in haste ; and Aidzu, the Shogun's Resident 
at Kioto, with some small Daimios, rallied to the Mikado's person, 
the upshot being that Choshiu, and many of his confederates, had to 
withdraw in disgrace. This conspiracy had its influence upon the 
Mikado's advisers ; and although the Emperor declared that he was 
still determined to expel the foreigners, he added that he sbould 
delay taking the field. News of this announcement reaching Jeddo, 
and, it being there interpreted with prudence, the Shogun's council, 
on November 12th, withdrew the decree of June 24th, relative to the 
closing of the ports, and the removal of foreigners ; and Satsuma's 
envoys gave the satisfaction and indemnity which had been demanded 
by Great Britain. From that time the scheme for expelling "the 
barbarians " fell to pieces. The Shoguu, with others, received marks 
of the Mikado's favour, and, at the same time, promised to confine 
his functions to those of a military vassal, and to endeavour, by 
improving the military resources of the country, to enable Japan 
to hold her own against other pow T ers. The authorities thenceforth 
frankly recognised the superiority of foreign ships and arms ; and a 
decree on the subject was issued by the Mikado, and sent to all the 
Daimios. A copy of this decree fell into the hands of the British 
Minister in April, 1864 ; and the Shogun's council was then taxed 
with cherishing a deliberate intention of expelling foreigners when 
the time for doing so should have arrived. The council answered 


blandly that the necessary preparations would take a long time to 
make, if the foreigners should continue to keep at hand a large 
coercive force. This led to a permanent occupation of Yokohama 
by the British and French. 

Choshiu, the restless, though in disgrace, was not idle. In 
February, 1864, he sank a steamer which had been lent to Prince 
Satsuma by the Shogun ; and in July, 1864, accompanied by an 
armed body of Bonins and adventurers, he ascended the river from 

THC fb/ic//VG or 

SEPT: 1864. 

CJiicfly from a 
V.Ad. SirA.Jfujyer's despatch of 




(/'or reference letters, sec Table on p. 203.) 

Osaka, and appeared before Kioto. The Mikado refused to listen to 
those who advised him to deal leniently with the truculent prince ; 
and heavy fighting resulted, the Shogun's people, under Hitosubashi, 
and Satsuma's men, assisting in the defence of the palace, and in 
the defeat of the assailants, but not until there had been great 
slaughter, and imtil thousands of houses, sixty Shinto shrines, 
and one hundred and fifteen Buddhist temples, had been destroyed. 
After the repiilse, the Mikado ordered the Shogun to march an army 
into the rebel vassal's territory at the south-western extremity of 
Nipon, and in the island of Choshiu, and to bring to his senses 




" Matz daira Daizen no Daibu, Jiusi no Choshiu," Prince of 

Here was a good opportunity for punishing Choshiu for having 
fired upon European vessels, to aid a government which showed some 
signs of entertaining wiser and more liberal sentiments than before, 
and to open the Inland Sea to trade. The Shogun gave a secret 
assent to the suggestion that the ships of the powers should assist ; 
and Sir Kutherford Alcock, then British Envoy Extraordinary in 
Japan, gladly seized so favourable an occasion for dealing a blow at 
the chief of the anti-foreign party, who, moreover, for the previous 
twelve months, had interrupted the trade at Nagasaki. 

The associated powers were Great Britain, France, Holland, and 
America. The Americans had no suitable vessel available on the 
spot ; but anxious to take part, they put an officer, some men, and a 
gun from the U.S. corvette Jamestown, on board a chartered steamer, 
the TaJciang, and added her to the combined forces, which, when 
assembled, comprised the following ships : 




*- B r T. c 

uns. COMMANDS its. 

Br. A 

Fr B 

Euryalus, scr. frig 2,371 

'|V.- Ad. Sir Augustus Leopold Kuper, 
33 { K.C.B. 
(('apt. Jno. Hobhouselnglis Alexander. 
fR.-Ad. C. Jaures. 

Br. C 
1 Br. D 

g d Fr K 

fonquervr,! scr. bAtt.-sbip . . - 2,84f 
Tartar, scr. corv 1,296 

' (Cap.t. Du Quil's. 
Y8 Capt. Wm. Garnliara Luard. 
20 ('apt. Jno. Montagu Hayes. 

H Dut. F 
S 5 1 Br G 

Metalen Ki~uif, scr 

16 Capt. J. F. De Man. 
21 Capt. AVm. Montagu Powell. 

= Dut H 

< ^ Br.' J 

18 Capt. Chas. Tayler Leckie. 

~ ( Br K 

- | 1 Dut L 

io 1 " \ Fr M 

4 Lieut. Pallu. 

13 3 Br X 

4 C'oin. Arth. Geo. R''bprtson Hoc. 

* Br. 
Br P 

Bouncer, scr. g. b 

IJeut. Hy. I-o\ve Holder. 

Dut. Q 

8 Com. M"tUler. 

Am R 

l Lieut. Pearson, L'.S.X. 

Br. S 

Pembrokeshire, collier 

1 Having on boarJ a battalion of Royal Marines. 

Sir Augustus Kuper quitted Yokohama on August 29th, and 
sailed again from the rendezvous, off Himesima Island, in the Inland 
Sea, on September 4th, anchoring in the afternoon out of range of 
the batteries in the Strait of Simonoseki. The defences then existing 
there are shown in the accompanying plan. The nature of the guns 
in the various forts is specified in the table on p. 206. 

Kuper, with the French Bear-Admiral Jaures, reconnoitred the 


position of the various works which were held by the Prince of 
Nagato ; and it was arranged that the attack should be made on 
September 5th, as soon as the tide should serve. 

At 2 P.M. on the 5th, therefore, the ships took up their assigned 
positions, and, immediately they had reached them, the action was 
opened by the flagship Euryalus, the Japanese replying smartly and 
with spirit. The positions of the ships, as described in Kuper's 
dispatch of September 15th, were as follows : 

" The advanced squadron, under the command of Captain J. M. Hayes, consisting 
of the Tartar, Dupleix, Metalen Kruis, Barmsa, Djanibi, and Leopard, moved into 
the bay off tlie village of Toyoura, as shown on the plan, within easy range of batteries 
3 to 8 ' inclusive, while the Euryatus and Semiramis opened fire upon the same works. 
The light squadron, under Commander Kingston, consisting of the Perseus, Medusa, 
Tancrede, Coquette, and Bouncer, were directed to take the batteries in flank. The 
Argus and Amsterdam being at first kept in reserve to render assistance to any ship 
that might be disabled or grounded, were afterwards ordered to close and engage ; and 
the Comjueror, having the battalion of Marines on board, was, in consequence of the 
difficult navigation, directed to approach only sufficiently near to admit of her Arm- 
strong guns bearing on the nearest batteries. During this operation, the Conqueror 
grounded twice on a knoll of sand, but came off again without assistance, and without 
sustaining any damage. The Takiamj also tired several shots from her one Parrot gun, 
doing good service. The Coquette, towards the close of the engagement, was withdrawn 
from her position with the flanking squadron, and sent to assist the foremost of the 
advanced corvette squadron, a service which Commander A. G. R. ]ioe performed with 
great promptness." 

By about 4.30 P.M. the fire from batteries 4 and 5 evidently 
slackened ; and soon afterwards it ceased. By 5.30 batteries 6, 7, 
and 8 were also silenced. It was, however, then too late in the day 
to admit of landing-parties being disembarked. Nevertheless, the 
Perseus and the Medusa being very close to battery 5, and it being 
too dark to signal for instructions, Commander Kingston, with 
Lieutenant Francis Joseph Pitt, and a party from the Perseus, followed 
by Captain de Casembroot, and Lieutenant De Hart, of the Medusa, 
gallantly pulled ashore, spiked most of the guns in that battery, and 
returned to their ships without casualties. A curious and significant 
feature of this first day's action was the receipt of a request from 
Buzen, on the side of the strait opposite to Simonoseki, that the 
people there should be permitted to fire blank cartridges at the 
squadron during the attack, and yet not be molested. They desired 
to keep in the good graces of both parties, with a diplomatic view to 
the future. 

At daylight on September 6th, battery 8 re-opened fire upon the 
advanced squadron, doing some damage to the Tartar and Dupleix ; 
1 The dispatch says " 3 to 9 " an obvious error. 


but, on a return being made by the squadron, it was silenced, only 
a few straggling shots being afterwards fired from it. Kuper 
continues : 

" The arrangement for the disembarkation having been completed, the allied forces, 
composed of the small-arm companies of the Euryalus and Conqueror, under the com- 
mand of Captain J. H. I. Alexander, of the Euryalus, the battalion of Marines, and 
Marines of the squadron, under that of Lieut.-Colonel William Grigor Suther, R.M., 
and detachments of 350 French, and 200 Dutch seamen and marines, the former under 
the command of Captain Du Quilis and Lieutenant Layrle, chef d'etat major, and the 
latter under that of Lieutenant Binkis, were distributed in the boats of the squadron 
and towed to the opposite shore by the Argus, Perseus, Coquette, Tancrede, Amsterdam, 
Medusa, and Takiang, the Bouncer assisting to .cover the landing, which was effected 
without accident, under the able superintendence of Captain W. G. Luard, of the Con- 
queror, assisted by Commander Edward Thomas Nott of that ship; and the force pro- 
ceeded, under my personal direction, to assault and take possession of the principal 
batteries ; which was accomplished with only trifling opposition. All the guns having 
been dismounted and spiked, carriages and platforms burnt, and magazines blown up, 
and deeming it inexpedient, from the very rugged and almost impenetrable nature of the 
country, to retain possession of any post on shore during the night, I directed the whole 
force to re-embark at 4 P.M. 

" The French and Dutch detachments were already in their boats, when the naval 
brigade stationed at battery No. 5 was suddenly attacked by a strong body of Japanese 
assembled in the valley in the rear of the battery. Colonel Suther's battalion of Marines 
coming up at this moment, a joint attack was instantly organised, and the enemy 
driven back upon a strongly-placed stockaded barrack, from which they were dis- 
lodged after making a brief but sharp resistance, leaving seven small guns in our 

On this occasion, Captain Alexander, while leading his men, was 
badly wounded in the foot, and numerous other casualties took place. 
The force re-embarked without further incident. The Perseus, 
while assisting in the landing operations in the morning, was driven 
on shore by a strong eddy of the current, and remained fast until 
midnight on the 7th, when, having been lightened, she was towed 
off undamaged by the good management of Commander Moresby. 
An extraordinary incident of the second day's work was the arrival 
of envoys from Choshiu, with a request for a cessation of hostilities 
for forty-eight hours, it being alleged that the Japanese troops were 
tired and hungry, but would be prepared to renew the engagement 
at the expiration of the period. The episode recalls the easy-going 
behaviour of the Belgian and Dutch troops, who, during the four 
days' fighting in Brussels in 1830, desisted each day for dinner, as 
by common consent, and even allowed each other time for a brief 
siesta afterwards. 

The batteries from 1 to 8 inclusive being in possession of the 
Allies, working parties were landed early on September 7th, and 


began to embark the captured guns. In the afternoon, the 
Tartar, Metalen Kruis, Djambi, and Dupleix moved round to the 
westward of Moji Saki Point, preparatory to an attack on batteries 
9 and 10. 

On September 8th, accompanied by Jaures, Kuper shifted his 
flag to the Coquette, and, with the four ships above mentioned, 
proceeded to open fire on batteries 9 and 10. The fire was not 
returned ; and soon afterwards parties were landed from the 
squadron to destroy the works and embark the guns, the whole 
operation being completed by the evening of September 10th. 
Sixty-two pieces in all were brought away. 1 

On the 8th, while the work on shore was still in progress, an 
envoy from Choshiu went on board the British flagship under a flag 
of truce, and produced letters and documents which induced Kuper 
and Jaures to allow a two days' truce, at the expiration of which 
a Japanese officer of high rank brought; humble and satisfactory 
submissions from Choshiu, his promise to erect no more batteries, 
and his consent to open the strait. a 

In the course of the operations, the allies had 12 people killed, 
and 60 wounded. The British loss was, Euryalus, 5 killed, 18 
wounded ; Tartar, 8 wounded ; Conqueror, 2 killed, 4 wounded ; 





No. 1 

No. 2 . . . 

1 9-pr. 
1 9-pr. 

1 32-pr. . 2 12-prs. 

No. 3 . . . 

Stockaded j 
Barracks ) 

. . 

Removed by the Japanese. 
1 12-pr. 1 coehorn ! ~^ T f'. 

No. 4 . . . 

4 30-prs. 

No. 5 . . . 

/ 1 8-ton 
I 6 24-prs. 

No. 6 . . . 

/ 2 11-in. \ 
I 3 78-prs. / 

3 12-prB. 

No. 7 . . 

/ 1 8-in. 

\ 1 13-in. 

( 1 u -in. j 

No. 8 . . . 

3 24-prs. 2 5-in. 

( 7- 30-prs. J 

Nos. 9 and 10 . 

6 30-prs. j 
1-24-pr. 1-5-in. \ -G-P re - 
( 2-9-prs. j 3-prs. 

Total . . 


5 3 16 

2 Disps. and letters of Kuper, Alexander, Hayes, and Suther; Journals of Capt. 
Payne and Chf. Paym. B. R. A. Kichards : Corr. of Times, and of A. and N. Gazette. 


Barrosa, 1 wounded; Leopard, 2 wounded; Perseus, '2 wounded; 
Bouncer, 1 wounded ; and the battalion of Royal Marines, 1 killed, 
and 12 wounded : total, 8 killed, 48 wounded. No officers were 
killed, but the following were wounded : Captain John Hobhouse 
Inglis Alexander, Lieutenant Frederick Edwards, and Midshipman 
C. W. Atkinson (Euryalus) ; Lieutenant William Arthur de Vesci 
Brownlow, and Midshipman Edward John Wingfield (Tartar) ; and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Charles William Adair, E.M., Captain Nevinson 
William de Courcy, E.M., and Lieutenant James Weir Inglis, R.M., 
of the Marine battalion. 

The promotions consequent upon the action were : 

To be Captains : Commanders John Moresby and Augustus John Kingston 

(Nov. 21st). 
To be Commanders : Lieutenants Henry Lowe Holder, William Henry Cuming, 

William Arthur de Vesci Brownlow, Richard Hastings Harington, and Richard 

Edward Tracey (Nov. 21st). 

To be Master : Second-Master James Greenwood Liddell (Nov. 18th). 
To be Surgeon : Assistant-Surgeon Richard Lovell Bluett Head (Nov. 18th). 


Most of the British casualties occurred on September 6th, when 
the Naval Brigade and Marines were engaged on shore. It was then 
that Captain Alexander was wounded, the command of the Brigade 
devolving on Lieutenant Harington. In the course of that after- 
noon's fighting some gallant deeds were done, and no fewer than 
three Victoria Crosses were gained ; one by Midshipman Duncan 
Gordon Boyes of the Euryalus, " who carried a colour with the 
leading company, kept it with headlong gallantry in advance of all, 
in face of the thickest fire, his colour-sergeants having fallen, one 
mortally and the other dangerously wounded, and was only detained 
from proceeding further yet by the orders of his superior officer. 
The colour he carried was six times pierced by musket balls." 1 The 
others were gained by Thomas Pride, captain of the afterguard, 
who, until he fell disabled, had supported Boyes ; and by William 
Seeley, seaman, who daringly ascertained the position of the enemy, 
1 Alexander to Kuper, Sept. 10th. 


and afterwards, though wounded, continued in the front of the 
advance. 1 

In addition to most of the officers who have been already named, 
the following were mentioned in the dispatches : 

" Lieutenants Robert Peel Dennistoun (flag), Cottrell Burnaby Powell, and Alfred 
Jephson; Masters George Williams, John Charles Solfleet, and John Emauuel 
Chappie; Paymaster Hemsley Hardy Shanks (Secretary); Surgeons David Lloyd 
Morgan, and Christopher Knox Ord, M.D. ; Assistant-Surgeons Samuel M'Bean, 
Edward Alfred Birch, and John Thomson Comerford; Midshipmen Henry Hart Dyke, 
and Edward Plantagenet Hume ; Clerk Robert N. Haly ; Lieut.-Colonel Penrose 
Charles Penrose, B.M. ; Captain Ambrose Wolrigc, B.M. ; Lieutenant John Christopher 
Hore, H.M. ; Lieutenant William Henry Townseud Morris Dodgin, K.M.A. ; and a 
Prussian officer, Herr vou Blanc, who was attached to the Tartar." 

After much further negotiation, some internal outbreaks, and a 
demonstration by the fleets of the powers at Osaka, the Mikado 
ratified the treaties at the end of 1865. In 1866 the Shogun, or 
Tycoon, Jyemochi, died, and was succeeded by Hitosubashi, under 
the name of Keiki. At about the same time Choshiu, who had 
previously repulsed the Shogun's forces, became reconciled both 
with the Mikado and with Satsuma. In 1867 the Mikado also died, 
and the crown devolved upon Mutsu Hito, then a boy of fifteen, 
who later distinguished himself as a most successful and enlightened 
ruler. There was thenceforward no serious difficulty with foreigners. 
An attack in May, 1867, on two British subjects who were travelling 
between Osaka and Jeddo was promptly punished ; and the murder 
of two men of H.M.S. Icarus, at Nagasaki, was as quickly inquired 
into, the perpetrators being executed. In November of the same 
year, the dual government was terminated by Keiki's surrender of 
the remains of his power to the Mikado. 

It is not necessary to follow further the evolution of the modern 
regime in Japan. It was not accomplished without much violence ; 
and in 1868 seamen and Marines had again to be landed on Japanese 
soil, this time at Kobe. They had, however, little or no fighting to 
do ; and, soon afterwards, the conservative chiefs formally admitted 
that the long efforts to close the country were a mistake, and prayed 
that relations of amity with foreigners might be encouraged. In 
March, 1868, the European and American ministers were invited 
for the first time to visit the Mikado at Kioto. Isolated outrages 
continued for some time ; and even on the occasion of this visit to 
the Mikado, the British minister narrowly escaped assassination ; 
1 Gazette, April 21&t, 1865. 

1864-66.] WEST AFRICAN AFFAIRS. 209 

but proper punishment was instantly meted out to the offenders ; 
and it was generally admitted that these crimes were the work 
of individual fanatics, and were in no sense instigated by the 

Japan, under the Emperor Mutsu Hito, began, very soon 
afterwards, to astonish her friends by the rapidity with which it 
assimilated European methods and civilisation ; and, ere the end of 
the nineteenth century, she won her way to recognition as one of 
the great powers of the world. 

In 1864, and again in 1865 and in 1866, various expeditions 
proceeded up the Niger to maintain British prestige, and to keep 
the turbulent chiefs in order. For this work the Investigator, 1 2, 
paddle, drawing as she did only about 4 feet 4 inches of water, 
proved most useful. She was employed almost constantly during 
those three years, either up the river, or in the Lagos lagoons, 
where, in March, 1865, she participated in the action at Ikorudu. 
Among the officers who successively commanded her on these 
services were Lieutenant Charles George Frederick Knowles, Lieu- 
tenant John George Graham M'Hardy, Lieutenant George Truman 
Morrell, and Lieutenant John William Jones. In the Congo, in 
1865, the boats of the Archer, 13, screw, Captain Francis Marten, 
were engaged against the river pirates. 

Early in 1865, while the Dart, 5, screw, Commander Frederick 
William Richards, lay at Akatoo, on the West Coast of Africa, a 
rumour arose to the effect that the natives were about to plunder 
the British factories. One factory, indeed, had been actually looted, 
and a schooner had been stripped and set adrift. Richards there- 
fore landed some men from his gun- vessel, and, also a small detach- 
ment from the Lee, 5, screw, Lieutenant Oliver Thomas Lang. 
Several boats were capsized in the surf, and two people drowned ; 
and, in a subsequent collision with the natives, one seaman was 

Of the captures of slavers made in the same year, no case 
was more gallant and creditable than one in which the pinnace 
and cutter of the Wasp, 13, screw, Captain William Bowden, 
were concerned. On May 12th, the boats in question, containing 
24 seamen and two Midshipmen, under Lieutenants Charles 
Compton Rising, and Charles Barstow Theobald, found an Arab 

1 Built at Deptford in 1861. 


dhow, with 283 slaves and a crew of 76 Arabs on board, about 
nine miles off Zanzibar, and captured her, after the enemy had 
made a desperate resistance, and had killed the pinnace's coxswain, 
John New, and wounded 11 people, including Kising, 1 Theobald, 2 
and Midshipman William Wilson. 3 The Wasp made several more 
captures, resistance, however, not being offered in most cases. 
Another vessel which, at about the same time and on the same 
station, greatly harassed the slave-trade, was the Lyra, 7, Com- 
mander Eobert Augustus Parr. At her paying off, in April, 1868, 
after a fifty-two months' commission, she had eleven dhows to 
her credit. 

In June, 1865, while surveying off the south cape of Formosa, 
a boat party from the screw gunboat Dove, Master George Stanley, 
was set upon by cannibal natives, and had one man wounded. The 
vessel, upon the return of the party, opened fire with effect upon the 
assailants, who crowded the beach. The scene of the outrage is 
now known as Attack Bay. 

In consequence of the long-continued outrages committed by 
certain of the inhabitants of the "New Hebrides, Commodore Sir 
William Saltonstall Wiseman, Bart., in the Qurac s oa, 23, screw, 
bombarded Tanna and Erromanga in 1865. At Tanna one British 
seaman was killed by a native. On the native side the damage done 
was confined chiefly to property. 

On December 12th, boats' crews from the Salamis, paddle 
despatch-vessel, Commander Francis Grant Suttie, and Janus, gun- 
boat, Lieutenant Cecil Frederick William Johnson, had a brush 
with some Chinese pirates at Tia Nia, on the west coast of the 
island of Tonqua. Acting on information received from the 
mandarins, Commander Suttie landed with 45 officers and men, 
and, approaching three junks and five snake-boats which lay in a 
creek, was fired upon from several directions by a force of about 
200 people, who presently fled to the hills. Lieutenant Johnson, 
with only six men, followed the main body of these, and fought 
them gallantly until he was recalled. About a dozen of the enemy 
were killed and wounded, and all their craft were destroyed. On the 
British side there were no casualties. 

Among the numerous engagements which took place during 
these years between H.M. ships and Chinese pirates, few were more 

1 Com., Nov. 26, 1865. Pension of 100 for wounds, Aug. 9, 1866. 

2 Com., Nov. 16, 1865. 3 Gazette, July 21, 1865. 


noteworthy than one fought by the gunboat Grasshopper, Lieutenant 
George Digby Morant, in November, 1865. The vessel, on several 
other occasions, rendered useful service of the same sort, and, at 
her paying off, she was able to claim prize-money in respect of 
20 pirate vessels, and 483 men. Morant, while lying in Chimmo 
Bay, near Amoy, learnt that three pirate lorchas, which were 
then at Port Matheson, had lately captured five cargo junks. 
Arriving off Pyramid Point at about 8 A.M. on November 23rd. 
Morant found the three pirates under sail, and their prizes at anchor 
inside of them. He gave chase, and, at 8.45, fired a gun to bring 
them to. They replied at once, and formed line of battle at the 
shoal end of the bay, tacking backwards and forwards. Having 
little more water under him than he drew, Morant was obliged to 
engage them at 1200 yards. At 11 A.M, one of his 68-pr. shells blew 
up the magazine of the largest pirate, a Macao lorcha, and set fire 
to the hull. The other two tried to make off through a rocky 
channel. The Grasshopper steamed round outside, and drove them 
back, and, upon the tide rising, was able to close within 800 yards. 
At 12.45 the people of one of the lorchas began to jump overboard ; 
whereupon Morant ordered his Gunner, Mr. H. Gardner, to take the 
cutter and capture her. This was done. The third lorcha kept up 
the engagement until 1.15, when she struck, her crew leaving her. 
Morant, in the gig, went and took possession of her. The gunboat 
had no casualties, and was hulled only twice. Upon seeing the 
Grasshopper approach, the pirates had deliberately beheaded 34 of 
the prisoners whom they had on board, and disembowelled two boys, 
sons of the masters of two of the prizes. Lieutenant Morant, who 
was promoted l for this affair, was fortunately able to capture 23 of 
the scoundrels who had jumped overboard. The largest of the 
lorchas mounted two long 16-prs. and six 6-prs. Each of the others 
had five guns, and among them the three had about 150 men on 
oard. 2 

In the previous month, the Opossum, 2, Lieutenant Henry 
Craven St. John, tender to the Princess Charlotte, had been sent 
in search of some pirates who were reported to be lying in Mirs 
Bay. She had there found two pirate junks, which she burnt, and 
their prize, which she restored to her owners, from whom St. John 
received news which induced him to proceed at once to Tooniang 
Island, where he discovered three more piratical craft in a creek. 
1 Com., Feb. 6th, 1866. 2 Morant to King. 

P 2 


Having landed a force to take them in rear, he attacked in the 
gunboat from seaward, the result of his excellent dispositions being 
that he captured all three without suffering any loss. This exploit 
was, for the moment, the last of a series of operations, during 
which, in about a year, St. John had captured 35 pirate vessels, 
mounting, in the aggregate, 140 guns. 

One of the most brilliant bits of hard fighting done by the Navy 
in the second half of the nineteenth century stands to the credit of 
the paddle-sloop Bulldog, 6, of 1124 tons, and 500 nominal horse- 
power. .She was on the North America and West Indies station 
in 1865, when Sylvestre Salnave was endeavouring to wrest the 
presidency of the Haytian Republic from Fabre Geffrard. On 
October 22nd, off Acul, and in sight of the sloop, a Salnavist 
steamer, the Valorogue, fired into a British Jamaica packet. 
Captain Charles Wake, of the Bulldog, having approached, and 
inquired into the matter, informed the commander of the Valorogue 
that, unless he ceased firing, his ship should be sunk under him. 
The rebel officer thereupon desisted, and took his vessel into Cape 
Haytien. As soon as he heard what had happened, Salnave ordered 
the arrest by force of a number of fugitives who had sought refuge 
in the British Consulate there. 

On the morning of the 23rd, Wake, 1 who was accompanied by 
three Geffrardist war-steamers, appeared off the mouth of the 
harbour. The Consul had informed him in the interval that the 
refugees had been not only seized but also shot, that the Consulate 
had been wrecked, and that the flag had been insulted in other 
ways. Wake demanded satisfaction, and, getting only a refusal, 
began to shell Fort Cirolet at 8.45 A.M. The work replied five 
minutes later. Pushing further in, and engaging all the batteries, 
Wake presently caught sight of the Valorogue, which, perhaps 
rather unwisely, he endeavoured to ram at full speed. Unfortu- 
nately, he was in waters which were strange to him; and his 
navigating officer, Acting-Master Edwin Behenna, was a young 
man fresh to the station. The result was that the sloop ran on a 
reef within short musket-shot of the enemy's vessel, and within 
point-blank range of a masked shore battery, which instantly opened 
on her. Nevertheless, the Bulldog sank the Valorogue at 9.45 ; and 
at 10.10 A.M. the largest schooner of the Salnavist fleet was also 

1 The two Lieutenants of the Bulldog were John Lewis Way, and Frank 

1865.] -WAKE, OF THE "BULLDOG." 213 

sunk. In addition, the sloop blew up the Salnavist powder- 
magazine, set fire to the town, and dispersed with grape and canister 
the riflemen who had assembled on the shore. At 11.30, Wake sent 
a message to the United States' war-steamer De Soto, requesting 
her captain, Lieutenant-Commander Howell, to tow him off. Some 
steps in this direction seem to have been taken, but in vain, by the 
Americans, who, at noon, through Lieutenant Sumner, kindly offered 
to receive and tend the sloop's wounded. This Wake thought 
proper to decline at the moment. During the whole time, and, 
indeed, until dark, the engagement continued. When the firing 
had ceased, the gallant British Captain, who had no intention of 
allowing his ship to fall into the hands of the blacks, and who had 
little ammunition left, set fire to and abandoned her, transferring 
himself, his people, his wounded, and his killed (with the exception 
of a few who were sent to the friendly De Soto), to the Geffrardist 
steamer Vmgt-deux Decembre. The sloop, still fast aground, finally 
blew up. 

Of her complement of 175 officers and men, the Bulldog had 
3 killed, and 10 wounded. A court-martial, which was held at 
Devonport, considered that Wake and Behenna were to blame for 
having run the sloop on to the reef, and that she had been abandoned 
and destroyed prematurely ; and it severely reprimanded Wake, and 
reprimanded Behenna. Captain Wake called the attention of the 
Admiralty to his sentence, which, according to public opinion, was 
a somewhat harsh one, and was informed that their lordships " did 
not consider that any imputation was cast on his honour or his 
courage. 1 This gallant officer, as will be seen on reference to the 
Flag-Officers' List, died in 1890. It is pleasant to be able to add 
that he was soon again employed afloat. 2 

On November 9th, following, the offending forts at Cape Haytien 
were bombarded, and silenced one after the other, by the Galatea, 
26, scr., Captain Eochfort Maguire, and Lily, 4, scr. Commander 
Algernon Charles Fieschi Heneage. The firing lasted from 9 A.M. 
until 6 P.M. The Galatea had no casualties ; but the Lily had 

1 Disps. : Wake's account in Army and Navy Gazette, Dec. 2nd, 1865; letter of 
officer of the De Soto. Mins. of C.M., Jan. 15th, 1866. 

2 Punch elided some verses on the affair and its sequel with : 

"Then here's three cheers for Captain Wake; and, while we sail the sea, 
May British Bulldogs always find Captains as stout as he, 
That's all for biting when they bite, and none for bark and brag, 
And thinks less about court-martials than the honour of the flag." 


several people hurt. As the forts were reduced they were occupied 
by the Geffrardists. 

In opening the Legislative Session of 1865, Governor E. J. Eyre, 
of Jamaica, made the following reference to the part played by the 
Navy in repressing the very serious disturbances which had then 
recently taken place in the island : 

"To the senior naval officer, Captain de Horsey, of H.M.S. Wolverene, we owe it 
that we were enabled to carry out with promptitude and efficiency the arrangements 
necessary to control and suppress the rebellion. The Wolverene and her gallant 
Captain were kept almost unceasingly at work, day and night, in all weathers, and off 
a lee coast; but all was done with hearty good will, zeal, and cheerfulness. . . . 
Lieutenant Brand, of H.M.S. Onyx, is entitled to the highest praise for the unceasing 
and valuable services rendered by the little gunboat under his command." 

Captain de Horsey was the Admiral Algernon Frederick Bous 
de Horsey, the dates of whose commissions, etc., will be found in 
the Flag Officers' List. Lieutenant Herbert Charles Alexander 
Brand, commanding the Onyx, one of the smallest of the gunboats 
which had been built for the purposes of the war with Kussia, 
became a victim of a hot and foolish agitation in England, 
the result of which was that, with Brigadier-General Nelson, he 
was arraigned at the Old Bailey on a charge of wilful murder. The 
prisoners were happily acquitted ; and, after further honourable 
service, Brand retired in 1883 with the rank of Commander. He 
died in 1901. 

In 1865 the piratical depredations of the Arabs on the west 
coast of the Persian Gulf, and especially of those of El Kateef, 
became so troublesome that, towards the close of the year, the screw 
corvette Highflyer, 21, Captain Thomas Malcolm Sabine Pasley, 
was sent thither to exact satisfaction. Failing to obtain it, Pasley, 
in January, 1866, destroyed two forts, and burnt some dhows 
belonging to the marauders. Misapprehending the nature and 
strength of a fort near El Kateef, he subsequently sent his boats 
ashore there, and landed a party which, in an attempt to rush the 
work, succeeded in getting inside the outer wall only, and was at 
length obliged to retreat thence with a loss of 3 killed and 8 wounded, 1 
one of the latter also dying on the following day. After the repulse, 
the Highflyer sent in her boats, and shelled the fort at long range, 
but apparently did it little damage. 2 

1 Among the wounded was Lieut. John Fellowes : see Disps. 

2 Bombay Gazette. 

1806.] THE "OPOSSUM" Iff CHINA. 215 

During the Fenian disturbances in Canada, in 1865-67, a 
number of Her Majesty's sbips and vessels were employed, under 
the direction of Captain de Horsey, on the river St. Lawrence, 
and lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron. Their services were not, for 
the most part, of a very exciting character, being mainly of a pre- 
ventive nature ; but, in respect of them, a medal and clasp were 
granted in 1899 to officers and men who were in the following 
vessels on the occasion : 

Aurora, 35, screw, Captain Algernon Frederick Ecus de Horsey; Pyladrs, 21, 
Captain Arthur William Acland Hood; Niger, 13, screw, Captain James 
Minchin Bruce; liosario, 11, screw, Commander Louis Button Versturme ; 
the gunboats Heron, Lieutenant Henry Frederick Stephenson; Britomart, 
Lieutenant Arthur Hildebrand Alington; and Cherub, Lieutenant Spencer 
Eobert Huntley ; and the armoured hired gunboats Canada, Lieutenant 
Thomas Hooper ; Royal, Lieutenant John Henry Vidal ; Hercules, Lieutenant 
Archibald Lucius Douglas ; SI. Andrew, Lieutenant Seymour Spencer Smith ; 
Michigan, Lieutenant Frederick William Burgoyne Heron Maxwell Heron ; 
and Rescue, 1 Lieutenant Henry James Fairlie. 

The Cretan revolt, which began in 1866, caused so little anxiety 
to the British authorities in the Mediterranean that it is not 
mentioned in the autobiography and journals of Vice-Admiral Lord 
Clarence Edward Paget, who was Conirnander-m-Chief there at the 
time. Nevertheless, precautions were taken for the protection of 
British interests; and for some months in 1866-67, the gunboat 
Wizard, Lieutenant Patrick James Murray, was stationed off the 
coast for that purpose. 

Lieutenant Henry Craven St. John, who was reappointed to 
command the gunboat Opossum, 2, at the beginning of 1866, 
signalised his fresh term of command, and earned his promotion, 
by the zeal which he again displayed in the repression of Chinese 
piracy. In February, he left Hongkong on a cruise, and, hearing 
of the presence of a number of pirates near Pakshui, on the 
west coast beyond Macao, he at once went in search of them. 
He discovered fifteen vessels at the head of a small creek, mounting 
among them 43 guns, and protected by a battery mounting three 
others. He had but about thirty men on board; yet he silenced 
the battery, and drove the pirates from their vessels, which he 
seized, and many of which he destroyed, handing over the 
rest to the Imperial Chinese authorities. His loss was 5 people 

1 Twin-screw, of 248 tons, and 100 H.P. 


wounded. Two clays later, he recaptured a junk which had been 
stolen from her owners and used for piratical purposes by her 
skipper. Not long afterwards, he made another prize. After his 
promotion, which was dated April 12th following, he made a further 
attack on Pakshui, where he captured nine snake-boats, and again 
destroyed a battery. He was then superseded by Lieutenant Karl 
Heinrick Augustus Mainwaring. In June, 1866, the Osprey, 4, 
Commander William Menzies, with the Opossum, left Hongkong in 
search of some more pirate junks, which, to the number of twenty - 
two, were found in Sania creek. Among them they mounted 
upwards of 200 guns. The Osprey approached within 1200, and 
the Opossum within 700 yards, and, after a two hours' cannonade, 
landed parties, which took the junks in rear, and compelled their 
abandonment. The vessels were all burnt, and the village of Sarna, 
which had sheltered them, was destroyed. The only person killed 
on the side of the attack was a Chinese mandarin, who had accom- 
panied it in order to identify the freebooters. 1 

In the course of the year 1867 several of her Majesty's ships 
were actively employed on the coast of Ireland in connection with 
the repression of the Fenian disturbances there. The Navy took 
part, however, in no fighting deserving of the name. 

Early in the same year, the British consul at Cartagena, Colombia, 
having complained that his letters were opened and detained by the 
local authorities, Commodore Sir Francis Leopold M'Clintock, in 
charge at Jamaica, despatched to the spot the Doris, 24, screw, 
Captain Charles Vesey. Vesey made certain demands which the 
governor of the town declared that he had not power to grant; 
whereupon, on February 26th, the Colombian Government steamer 
Colombiano was seized by an armed party in three boats from the 
frigate. This measure induced the governor to adopt new views as 
to his powers, and, matters having been settled satisfactorily, the 
steamer was released on March 1st. 

On June 26th, the gunboats Bouncer, Lieutenant Karl Heinrick 
Augustus Mainwaring, and Havock, Lieutenant Yelverton O'Keefe, 
with a mandarin accompanying them from Kowloon Bay, found 
two piratical Chinese vessels at anchor in Starling Inlet, and, 
getting out their boats, took and destroyed both, and released their 
prize, a trading junk. Such pirates as escaped were followed to the 
shore, but in vain. On the 28th, fifty miles further up the coast, 
1 A. and N. Gazette, Sept. 22, 1866. 


S H 
< t "."I 

* SB 
3 3 



g d 


1867.] 11EVIEW AT SPITHEAD, 217 

the same gunboats attacked, captured, and destroyed a considerable 
flotilla of piratical craft, preserving, however, one prize which, on 
the 29th, was towed by the Havock into Hong Kong. In the course 
of 1867, when the treaty port of Cheefoo, in north China, was 
threatened by a large horde of rebels, a British force was landed 
there for its defence. The senior officer on the spot at the time 
was Commander Frederick William Hallowes, of the paddle-sloop 
Argus, 6. 

On July 17th, 1867, Her Majesty Queen Victoria reviewed a 
large fleet at Spithead. Admiral Sir Thomas Sabine Pasley was in 
command, with his flag in the Victoria, screw wooden three-decker. 
The port column on this interesting occasion consisted exclusively 
of vessels of the old and doomed types. The starboard column, 
under Rear-Admiral Frederick Warden, who had his flag in the 
Minotaur, consisted exclusively of ironclads, and included not only 
iron-hulled armoured battleships, like the Bellerophon, but also 
wooden-hulled ones, like the Lord Clyde, together with coast-defence 
turret-ships, such as the Royal Sovereign and the Prince Albert, 
and armoured gun-vessels, such as the Vixen and the hydraulic- 
driven Waterwitcli. No non-steamers were present in the lines. 
Accompanying the Queen were the Sultan of Turkey and the Viceroy 
of Egypt. Lieutenant William Eobert Kennedy acted as Flag- 
Lieutenant to the Board of Admiralty at the review, and was 
promoted, on the following day, to be Commander. In August, 
1869, when their Lordships went for a cruise in the Agincourt with 
the Channel Squadron, which was then commanded by Vice-Admiral 
Sir Thomas Matthew Charles Symonds, in the Minotaur, Captain 
James Graham Goodenough, Lieutenant the Hon. Edward Stanley 
Dawson was appointed Flag-Lieutenant to the Board. The 
Admiralty flag was hauled down on September 30th, and Mr. 
Dawson received his promotion on the following November llth. 

Numerous acts of piracy and murder by the natives of the 
Nicobar Islands led to the despatch thither from the Straits Settle- 
ments on July 19th, 1867, of the Wasp, 13, screw, Captain Norman 
Bernard Bedingfeld, and the Satellite, 17, screw, Captain Joseph 
Edge, the latter having native troops on board. Some villages and 
war-canoes were burnt, and one or two prisoners were released ; but, 
disturbances having in the meantime broken out at Penang, the 
ships had to return thither in the middle of August. The Wasp 
had been originally commissioned in November, 1863, for the 


suppression of the slave-trade on the east coast of Africa. One of 
her exploits there in the year 1865 has been already recorded. 

The Navy had but a modest, though an altogether creditable 
share in the Abyssinian Expedition of 1868. The naval arrange- 
ments in the Indian seas were in the hands of Captain Leopold 
George Heath, C.B., who flew a broad pennant, as Commodore of 
the First Class, in the Octavia, 35, screw, Captain Colin Andrew 
Campbell. To the Octavia was attached, as Director of the 
Transport Service, Captain George Tryon, who had on his staff 
Paymasters Thomas Henry Lovelace Bowling, and Thomas Nelson 
Firth, and Assistant-Paymaster Thomas Edmund Goodwin. These 
officers did most of their work at the base at Zoulla, in Annesley 
Bay, one of the hottest places on earth, and were fully employed, 
seeing that no fewer than 291 transports, besides tugs, lighters, and 
native craft, were engaged in the operations. 1 

More interesting experiences fell to the Naval Brigade which, 
with rockets and Sniders, was landed at Zoulla on January 25th, 
under Commander Thomas Hounsom Butler Fellowes, 2 of the 
Dryad, 4, screw, and which accompanied the army to Magdala. 
The ships which chiefly contributed were the Octavia, the Dryad, 
Commander Fellowes, and the Satellite, 17, screw, Captain Joseph 
Edye ; though medals for the campaign were also granted to the 
Star, 4, screw, Commander Eichard Bradshaw ; Argus, 6, paddle, 
Commander Frederick William Hallowes ; Daphne, 4, screw, Com- 
mander George Lydiard Sulivan ; Nymphe, 4, screw, Commander 
Thomas Barnardiston ; Spiteful, 6, paddle, Commander Benjamin 
Langlois Lefroy ; and Vigilant, 4, screw, Commander Ealph 
Abercrombie Otho Brown ; these ships being engaged on various 
services in connection with the campaign. 

The Brigade marched on February 29th, reached Senafe on 
March 5th, and, advancing again on the 7th, arrived at Antalo on 
March 16th. It consisted of but 100 European officers and men, 
with 2 farriers, 13 grasscutters, 3 water-carriers, 6 sick-bearers, 
1 hospital-sweeper (Indian natives), and 88 battery mules, 54 
baggage and provision mules, or their equivalent in camels, 11 
officers' horses, and 3 bullocks for carrying water. At Antalo it 
was attached to the 2nd brigade, 1st division. At Lat, on March 

1 Fitzgerald, " Life of Tryon," 99. 

2 In his absence the Dryad was temporarily commanded by Lieut. George 
Woronzow Allen. 


23rd, it joined the first division under Major-General Sir Charles 
Staveley, and thence continued on the 25th towards Magdala. On 
joining Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Napier, the commander-in- 
chief, at Santara, on March 30th, the force was drilled, and fired 
rockets, under his Excellency's inspection. It was then attached to 
the 1st Brigade under Brigadier-General Schneider, which moved 
forward on the 31st. On April 10th it rendered valuable service 
during the action in the Arrogie Pass, where it led the attack up 
the King's Road. On April 13th it threw rockets into Magdala, and 
took part in the assault on the place. Two or three days later it 
again used its rockets to disperse Galla plunderers. In the 
distribution of the loot, the Brigade received as its trophy " a 
valuable and handsome shield, with gold filigree and lion's skin, 
and a solid silver cross." At the review on Dalanta Plain, on 
April 20th, the Brigade was placed on the right of all the troops, 
excepting the cavalry. The return march was begun on the 22nd. 
In the meantime another Brigade, under Captain Colin Andrew 
Campbell, 1 had been landed for the defence of Senafe, but was not 
required there, and was re-embarked. 

Throughout the operations the men behaved admirably, and 
marched very well indeed, although, in many cases, their boots gave 
out. Commander Fellowes, who was himself mentioned in the 
despatch of Sir Robert Napier, specially brought to the notice of 
the Admiralty (in his despatch dated Marrawah, May 2nd) the 
names of the following officers and men of his little command : viz. 
Lieutenant Charles Searle Cardale (Satellite), Assistant-Surgeon 
Henry Nanton Murray Sedgwick (Octavia), Chief-Gunner's Mate 
Charles Henry Jones, Gunner's Mate Robert Smith, Boatswain's 
Mates Thomas Vaughan, and John Graham, coxswain of the barge 
Benjamin Starkes, and second captain of the foretop Charles 
Austin. There were no casualties. 2 For their services Commodore 
Heath received a K.C.B., and Captains Edye, Tryon, and Fellowes 
each a C.B. 3 In addition, Commanders Fellowes and Barnardiston 
were posted ; Lieutenants John Fiot Lee Pearse Maclear, Edmund 
Lyons Green, and Charles Searle Cardale were made Commanders ; 

1 In his absence Com. William Henry Maxwell commanded the Octavia. 

2 Gazette, June 16th, 1868. Fellowes to Admlty., May 2nd (in A. and N. Gazette, 
June 27th, 1868). Hozier, " Brit. Exped. to Abyssinia " (1869). Heath to Admlty., 
June 10th, 1868. The last makes favourable mention of a number of officers. 

3 All dated Aug. 15th, 1868. Capt. Edye died on Sept. 13th, 1868, at Hong Kong. 


acting Sub-Lieutenant George Lambart Atkinson was made acting 
Lieutenant ; Navigating-Lieutenants Daniel John May, and Thomas 
Pounds were made Staff-Commanders ; Surgeon James Nicholas 
Dick was made Staff-Surgeon ; Assistant-Paymaster William Edwin 
Boxer was made Paymaster; and Engineer William Henry Grose 
was made Chief-Engineer. 1 

This year is remarkable for the unusual number of cases of 
piracy and outrage which, in various quarters of the world, 
necessitated the active employment of ships of the Navy. 

Lieutenant Cornpton Edward Domvile, of the Algerine, 1, 
screw, who had already done useful service against Chinese pirates, 
continued to be very active in the summer. On May 26th, 1868, 
the gun-vessel left Hong Kong in search of a piratical junk or 
snake-boat, which had committed piracy just outside the harbour. 
She found a junk of about 100 tons in an inlet of Mirs Bay, and, 
acting upon information received, took her, burnt her, and drove 
her people away, then proceeding to Stanley for further directions. 
Early on the 31st she again started, calling at Macao, and thence 
going to Namoa. On her way back, when between that place and 
St. John's, on June 3rd, she fell in with a squadron of thirteen 
heavily-armed pirates. Domvile hailed them, and demanded their 
papers, whereupon they fired into him. The mandarin with him 
assured him that they were pirates, and the fire was promptly 
returned. In a few minutes the action became general. The 
gun-vessel rolled badly, but made fairly good practice. She cut 
off and boarded one junk, which was endeavouring to run in-shore, 
and then she chased the others, which were going off in a body to 
the westward. She got up with them at about dusk, having first 
engaged them at a little after 3 P.M. A fresh and close action 
followed, and lasted for an hour and a half. Owing to the darkness 
and the shoaling water the pursuit had then to be abandoned ; but 
the already captured junk, which made off to seaward, was retaken 
two hours after dark, and towed into Hong Kong on June 9th. 
Whether the Chinese were really pirates is more than doubtful ; 
for, on trial, the prize was judged to be a trader, and was released. 
Domvile, indeed, though with the best intentions, acted too hastily. 
Otherwise the affair was most creditable ; for while on the Chinese 
side about 800 men and 130 guns seem to have been engaged, the 
Algerine had on board but one large and two small pieces, and about 
1 All dated Aug. 14th, 18G8. 


20 people ; among whom there were, strange to say, no casualties. 1 
On July 15th the Algerine captured three other alleged piratical 
junks in a bay in Tychan Island. Domvile was promoted on 
September 2nd following. British officials, both consular and 
naval, were at that time rather too ready to employ force in China. 
In 1869 the Foreign Office strongly censured Consul Sinclair, of 
Foochow, for having unnecessarily induced Lieutenant Leicester 
Chantrey Keppel, of the Janus, 1, to intervene on behalf of a certain 

At Yangchow, on August 22nd, 1868, the unpopularity of the 
British missionaries led to a serious outrage, which only by great 
good fortune did not terminate in the whole household of the 
Eev. Mr. Taylor being burnt. Happily, the entire British party 
escaped to Chinkiang. Consul Walter Medhurst, and the Einaldo, 
1, screw, Commander William Kemptown Bush, proceeded as soon 
as possible from Shanghai to Chinkiang, whence, with an escort of 
80 officers and men from the sloop, the Consul went to Yangchow 
on September 8th, and made certain demands. Some of these the 
local authorities professed themselves powerless to grant, whereupon 
the Consul and his party moved up to Nankin ; but, Commander 
Bush falling ill, the Einaldo was withdrawn ; and the Governor- 
General, seeing the Consul deprived of his supports, assumed an 
intractable attitude. Medhurst had to return to Shanghai, and 
refer the matter to Pekin. The affair was most injurious to British 
prestige, and Commander Bush was much blamed for withdrawing 
his sloop instead of leaving her at Nankin and himself going to 
Shanghai in one of the regular steamers. 2 After some negotiations, 
Sir Eutherfold Alcock was obliged to place the matter of the attack 
on the missionaries in the hands of Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir 
Henry Keppel, who, accordingly, sent up the Eodney, 78, screw 
(flag 3 ), Captain Algernon Charles Fieschi Heneage, Einaldo, 1, and 
Slaney, 1, screw, Lieutenant William Francis Leoline Elwyn, to 
Nankin, where the Icarus, 3, screw, Commander Lord Charles 
Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, and the Zebra, 7, screw, Com- 
mander Henry Anthony Trollope, subsequently joined them. The 
squadron seized the Chinese gunboat Tien Chi, on November 8th, 

1 China Mail ; Admiralty Corr. in A. and N. Gazette, May 22nd, 1869. 

2 SJumghai News Letter. Friend of China. Shanghai Corr. of Times in letter of 
Oct. 13th, 1868. 

* But Keppel was temporarily elsewhere, in the Salamis. 


as a material guarantee ; and a strong landing party, under Captain 
Heneage, was then despatched, in November, to Yangchow, where 
it remained until the whole of the British demands had been 
conceded. 1 

There were other outrages, arising chiefly out of the local 
opposition to missionaries, and the attempt of the Chinese to 
monopolise the camphor trade, in the island of Formosa. Claims 
for redress were evaded, and at length Consul Gibson requested 
Lieutenant Thornhaugh Philip Gurdon, commanding the Algcrine, 1, 
screw, to occupy the Amping and Zelandia forts, which constituted 
the key to the capital, Taiwan. At Amping, forty-one guns were 
already in position. To prevent the mounting of more, Gurdon, on 
November 25th, 1868, opened fire with his pivot-gun at 2000 yards ; 
but, finding that he could not stop the construction of earthworks, 
he very pluckily landed at night in his gig and cutter, accompanied 
by two officers and twenty-three men. The gig was swamped, but 
he disembarked in safety through the surf, two miles below the 
town. Advancing carefully, as it was moonlight, he took shelter 
under some rising ground, 800 yards from the works, until 2 A.M., 
when he made a rush, and carried the place almost instantly, killing 
several Chinamen, and driving off the rest. At daylight he also 
took possession of Zelandia, and, when attacked there by a force 
from Taiwan, repulsed it with heavy slaughter. This brilliant 
action led to the submission of the local authorities, the punishment 
of those who had committed the outrages, and the breaking down 
of the camphor monopoly. On the other hand, Consul Gibson, 
Lieutenant Gurdon, and Sir Henry Keppel were severely attacked, 
besides being blamed by the Admiralty, for having had recourse to 
such active measures, although, in fact, fruitless negotiations had 
been going on for five months ere any blow was struck. 2 Gurdon 
was, however, promoted on June 1st, 1869. 

On February 2nd and 3rd of the following year, the Algerine, 
then commanded by Lieutenant Henry Eowland Ellison Grey, 
destroyed twelve piratical snake-boats off Tonqua, subsequently 
releasing four valuable prize junks. 3 

The town of Choochi, on the river Hau, above Swatow, was 

1 Keppel, " A Sailor's Life," iii. 221. 

2 Keppel, " A Sailor's Life,"' iii. 223. A. and N. Gazette, Feb. 13th and Mar. 13th, 

3 Honykong Daily Press, Feb. 10th, 1869. 


long the headquarters of a band of pirates, who interfered with the 
transport of merchandise from the interior to the coast, and even 
plundered vessels in sight of Swatow itself. In 1868 some of these 
people foolishly fired upon and robbed a boat which, in charge of 
a British subject, was bringing down stores for the Bustard, 2, 
screw, Lieutenant Cecil Frederick William Johnson. Johnson 
demanded the punishment of the offenders, but the local mandarin 
declared that Choochi was fortified, and far too strong for him to 
meddle with ; whereupon, on June 29th, the Bustard steamed up 
the river, and anchored a mile and a quarter from the pirate 
stronghold. The co-operation of some mandarins, with 300 Chinese 
troops, had been obtained. The town having been summoned, and 
having refused to surrender, Johnson landed, and led the troops 
to the attack of the place, which was stoutly held and mounted two 
guns. The Chinese soldiers did well until they became entangled 
among spikes and other obstructions under a heavy fire inside the 
outer stockade. Johnson was then obliged to retire, as he had with 
him too few Europeans to attempt a storm, and the enemy could 
concentrate 600 men at any given point. Returning to the gunboat, 
he began a bombardment which he kept up until dark. In the 
night he landed sixteen of his men with a 24-pdr. howitzer, which, 
posted within 600 yards of the works, opened fire at dawn on the 
30th. When, after some hours, the inner fortifications were 
breached, the Chinese troops were again induced to advance. 
Johnson led them gallantly, but they were once more repulsed. 
On the two following days the bombardment was continued. At 
length, the town being on fire in several places, Johnson, with 
twenty-four of his own small ship's company, succeeded in taking 
it. After levelling the works and burning the stockades, he handed 
it over to the Chinese authorities. 1 Johnson was recommended for 
his services, but was not promoted until 1873. 

Owing to Mr. Baker, a missionary, and some of his dependents 
having been murdered, the Challenger, 18, screw, Commodore 
Rowley Lambert, C.B., proceeded in August, 1868, to Eewa, in the 
Fiji Islands, and despatched her launch, and first and second 
cutters, under Commander Charles James Brownrigg, who shelled 
one or two villages as a punitive measure, and, it was believed, 
killed several natives. On the British side two persons only were 
wounded. On September llth and 12th the Blanche, 6, Captain 
1 Hunykong Daily Press, Aug. lOih, 1808. Johnson to Keppel. 


John Eglinton Montgomerie, executed similar punitive measures at 
Rodora Bay, in the Solomon Islands. 

As in so many previous years, some of the piratical tribes on the 
Congo gave trouble in 1868. They were effectively punished, 
particularly at Maletta Creek in November. The vessels whose 
officers and men participated in the affair were the Myrmidon, 4, 
screw, Commander Henry Boys Johnstone, Pandora, 5, screw, 
Commander John Burgess, and Plover, 3, twin screw, Commander 
James Augustus Poland. 

Towards the end of the year a schooner under the British flag 
was captured by pirates near Malluda Bay, and three of her people 
were killed. Upon hearing of the outrage the Governor of Labuan 
went in pursuit in the Dwarf, 2, screw, Lieutenant Charles Francis 
Walker. The pirates made a stand on the island of Ubean, and, 
refusing to deliver up their leader, were punished by a landing party, 
which burnt their village, and brought about their submission. 
Governor John Pope Hennessy left the question of compensation to 
be settled by an official of the Sultan of Sulu. 

Piracy in the Arabian Gulf received a check at the hands of 
Commander Benjamin Langlois Lefroy, of the Spiteful, 6, paddle, 
who, during a month's cruise in the early part of 1868, captured 
and destroyed six vessels, and rescued 200 slaves. Two of the 
slavers taken were armed with 6-pr. carronades. On one occasion 
determined resistance was offered ; and on another the fugitive 
crew of a captured dhow returned, and made a bold but vain effort 
to regain the prize, which had to be blown up. 

In the late summer of 1868, as soon as she could be spared from 
service with the Abyssinian Expedition, the Vigilant, 4, screw, 
Commander Ealph Abercrombie Otho Brown, was sent, with three 
vessels J of the Bombay Marine, to deal with the troublesome chief, 
Mahomet ben Kuleef, of Bahrein, in the Persian Gulf, and with his 
neighbours and allies, who had greatly oppressed Indian traders. 
Mahomet ben Kuleef's fort, war-vessels, and guns were destroyed 
after a two days' bombardment ; reparation was made ; fines were 
imposed ; and certain chiefs were deposed and outlawed. The 
Bombay vessels subsequently proceeded to Muscat, which was 
found to have been captured by rebels on the day previous to their 
arrival ; and assistance was rendered to the Sultan. 2 

1 Sir ffuyh Hose, Sinde, and Clyde. 

2 Times of India, Oct. 2, 1868 ; A. and N. Gazette, Nov. 7, 1868. 


At Bahrein matters did not remain quiet for long ; and towards 
the end of 1869 it became necessary again to take action there. The 
matter was entrusted to Commander George Amelius Douglas, of 
the Daphne, 4, screw, who, accompanied by the Nymphe, 4, screw, 
Commander Edward Spencer Meara, and two vessels of the Bombay 
Marine, proceeded to the spot, and, in October and November, 
blockaded the island of Bahrein, took the fort of Menameh, and 
seized or obtained the surrender of several truculent chiefs, who 
were presently carried to Bombay as prisoners. It may be added 
that, previous to this expedition, both the Nymphe and the Daphne 
had been unusually successful while slave-cruising. During the 
commissions which they were then serving they captured between 
them about sixty slave vessels of one kind or another. The Star, 4, 
screw, Commander Walter Sidney de Kantzow, was also con- 
spicuously successful. 

Another craft which, on the same station, did good service 
against slavers in the years 1868 and 1869 was the Dryad, 4, screw- 
sloop, Commander Philip Howard Colomb, who subsequently 
wrote an interesting account of his work, and published it under 
the title of ' Slave-Catching in the Indian Ocean.' 

Early in January, 1869, when Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry 
Keppel happened to be with the British Consul at Canton, informa- 
tion reached him from Captain Oliver John Jones, Commodore at 
Hong Kong, concerning an outrage which had just been committed 
by the Chinese in the vicinity of Swatow. The crew of the Cock- 
chafer, 2, screw, while exercising in the boats up the River Han, 
under the commander of the gunboat, Lieutenant Howard Kerr, 
had been attacked by the inhabitants of some neighbouring semi- 
piratical villages, and, having been landed, had found itself opposed 
by about 600 people, and ultimately obliged to retire, with a loss of 11 
wounded. Keppel communicated with the Chinese authorities, who 
undertook to co-operate in punishing the assailants ; and he ordered 
the Commodore to proceed to the spot with the Einaldo, 7, screw, 
Commander Frederick Charles Bryan Robinson, Perseus, 15, screw, 
Commander Charles Edward Stevens, Icarus, 3, screw, Commander 
Lord Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, Leven, 2, screw, 
Lieutenant Orford Somerville Cameron, Bouncer, 2, screw, Lieu- 
tenant Rodney Maclaine Lloyd, and a detachment of seamen and 
Marines from Keppel's flagship, the Rodney, which was making 
good defects at Hong Kong. Keppel did not intend Jones to act 



before his senior's arrival, and, having proceeded to Hong Kong, 
sailed thence on January 30th, 1869, in the Salamis, 2, paddle, 
Commander Henry Matthew Miller. 

The impetuous Commodore, however, probably fearing to be 
superseded in the command of the expedition, did not wait for the 
arrival either of his chief, or of the whole of the Chinese forces, but, 
having landed a sufficient detachment, advanced on January 28th 
along the banks of Outingpoi Creek, burnt two or three villages, 
killed or wounded 88 natives, re-embarked, and returned to his ships. 
The British loss was only five wounded, including Lieutenants 
Herbert Frederick Gye (Rodney), Philip Bennet Aitkens (Rinaldo), 
and Eodney Maclaine Lloyd (Bouncer). 1 

The slave trade persisted on the east coast of Africa many years 
after it had become practically extinct elsewhere ; and, indeed, 
slavers continued to be captured there, though with diminishing 
frequency, until the end of the nineteenth century. In 1869 the 
traffic was extremely active, as may be judged from the fact that 
between January 4th and April 9th of that year, the Nymphe, 4, 
screw, Commander Edward Spencer Meara, took no fewer than 
sixteen slave-dhows on the station. On April llth, when the sloop 
was at Zanzibar, her two cutters were ordered away, at the request 
of the Sultan, to stop another dhow, which was putting to sea. She 
was made prize of, but in the struggle, and by subsequent fire from 
the shore, a seaman was killed, and two officers were wounded. 2 
On May 21st, while on her way to Aden, the Nymphe took two 
more large slavers, making nineteen in less than five months. 
Other vessels were almost equally successful at about the same 

An expedition, consisting of the Lynx, 4, twin screw, Com- 
mander James Wylie East, and the Pioneer, 2, paddle, Lieutenant 
William Wiseman, 3 left Lagos, on July 21st, 1869, in order to pro- 
ceed as far as possible up the Niger in support of British trade and 
influence. The bar of the river was crossed on July 23rd, but only 
very slow progress could be made, owing to the sandbanks and 
natural obstacles. After a point upwards of 400 miles from the 

1 Keppel, " A Sailor's Life," iii. 233 (untrustworthy especially as regards names). 
A. and N. Gazette, Feb. 20th, March 6th, March 13th, and March 27th, 3869. 
Saturday Review, May 2<Jth, 1869. 

2 Sub-Lieut. Norman Leith Hay Clark, who commanded, and Sub-Lieut. Thomas. 
Tarleton Hodgson (severely). Both were presently promoted. 

3 Afterwards Capt. Sir Wm. Wiseman, 9th Bart., died Nov. 1, itfvjs. 


sea had been reached, the vessels, which had become very sickly, 
returned ; but the difficulties of navigation prevented them from 
recrossing the bar until September 13th. On the arrival of the 
Lynx at Ascension, every one of her people except four had to be 
sent to hospital. The expedition was purely a peaceful one, yet it 
narrowly escaped being of the most costly nature. 

In June, 1869, the Bouncer, 2, Lieutenant Eodney Maclaine 
Lloyd, tender to the Princess Charlotte, receiving-ship at Hong 
Kong, proceeded, in company with two Chinese gunboats, on a 
cruise in search of pirates. On the night of June 12th, off Gowtow 
Island, in the Gulf of Tonquin, the 'Bouncer took five large junks, 
after her landing-party had had a sharp engagement with some of 
the freebooters on shore, who, swimming off at length, turned the 
guns of one of the junks upon the others as they were attacked. A 
Marine, James Murphy, had previously distinguished himself by 
swimming in the darkness to reconnoitre the enemy's position. By 
the 26th the Bouncer had captured twelve piratical craft, and her 
consorts nine more. Some of the prizes were excellently armed. 
Lloyd was specially thanked by the Hong Kong Government, and 
promoted on his return to England. 

Upon the death in England of the American philanthropist, 
George Peabcdy, who had contributed half a million sterling to the 
relief of the poor of London, it was decided by the British Govern- 
ment, at the suggestion of H.M. the Queen, to send the body of 
England's dead benefactor across the Atlantic in a man-of-war, in 
order to let it be seen how greatly his generosity was appreciated by 
the nation. It was at first intended to employ the large iron cruiser 
Inconstant, but the new turret battleship Monarch, Captain John 
Edmund Comrnerell, C.B., V.C., was ultimately selected as being 
more worthy of the occasion. Mr. Peabody's coffin was, accordingly, 
placed in the specially fitted stern cabin of the ironclad at Ports- 
mouth on December llth, 1869, under a salute of twenty minute 
guns ; and the ship then went to Spithead, where, however, she was 
delayed for several days by heavy weather ; and she did not sail for 
Boston until December 21st. She was escorted by the U.S. corvette 
Plymouth. 1 

In the same year, when an iron government floating-dock, 2 then 
the largest in the world, was towed across the Atlantic to Hamilton, 

1 A. and N. Gazette, Dec. llth, 18th, and 25th, 1869. 

2 Length over all, 381 ft. ; width at entrance, 84 ft. ; lifting power, 11,000 tons. 

9 2 


Bermuda, one of the vessels which convoyed her was the twin-screw 
gun-vessel Lapwing, 3, Commander Philip Euffle Sharpe. Towards 
the end of the year, having seen the dock to its destination, the 
Lapwing was usefully employed off Nassau in watching and inter- 
cepting blockade runners bound for Cuba. She captured four of 
these craft ; and she also disarmed and embarked 296 filibusters 
whom one of them had landed on Nurse Key. 

On January 28th, 1870, when the twin-screw gun-vessel 
Growler, 4, Commander Edward Hobart Seymour, was lying in the 
mouth of the Congo, she was boarded by some men belonging to 
the British schooner Loango, who reported that their vessel had 
been attacked by pirates on the previous afternoon. The Growler 
weighed at once, and steamed up to the scene of the outrage. At 
1 P.M., having sighted the schooner, she manned and armed three 
boats, which pursued the freebooters, who abandoned their prize. 
Thirteen canoes and a prisoner were captured ere the boats returned. 
It was discovered that the Loango had been pillaged, and that her 
master and a boy were missing. Seymour suspected a chief named 
M'pinge Nebacca to be implicated, and decided to surprise him in 
his town. On the 29th, three boats were again manned and armed. 
First a visit was paid to a village belonging to the chief's brother, 
and some plunder was there recovered. The expedition then pushed 
on, and landed two miles from the town, towards which the force 
advanced under a dropping fire from the retreating natives. In the 
place the missing master, badly wounded, was discovered by Sub- 
Lieutenant Henry Bingham Chesshyre Wynyard ; and much gun- 
powder, which had been looted from the schooner, was found and 
blown up. The town was burnt before the force retired. Still 
anxious to find the missing boy, Seymour sent his cutter, with 
the wounded master, back to the Growler, and, with his gig and 
whaler, moved up two miles further to Nebuila. He landed in 
a narrow creek, exposed to a desultory fire, which wounded 
Navigating Sub-Lieutenant William Stephen Eobert Gow, and, 
after the village had been burnt, struck down Seymour himself. 
When the party had withdrawn, word was sent that, in exchange 
for a certain quantity of cloth, the missing boy would be released. 
Seymour, however, replied that, unless the boy were released 
unconditionally, all the villages in that direction would be burnt, 
whereupon the youngster was at length sent down to the ship. 
Seymour's wound, a serious one in the right leg, obliged him to 

1871.] liOBINSON AT SELANGOB. 229 

invalid some weeks later. 1 Only a few months earlier the recall of 
the cruisers from the West African coast had been foolishly urged 
upon the Admiralty. 

In consequence of the piratical depredations of certain Malays, 
and of the resistance offered by them and their friends to the 
colonial officers sent to secure the culprits, Colonel Anson, Adminis- 
trator of the Straits Settlements, desired Commander George 
liobinson (2), of the Binaldo, 1 , screw, to take under his orders the 
colonial steamer Pluto, and to proceed with her to Selangor. The 
two vessels anchored off the mouth of the Selangor river early on 
July 3rd, 1871 ; and the sloop's boats, being manned and armed, 
were sent with a field-piece party to the Pluto. The party from the 
Hinaldo consisted of ninety-five officers and men under Commander 
Eobinson, Lieutenant Grosvenor Stopford, and Acting-Lieutenant 
Eustace Downman Maude. 2 At 7.30 A.M., the Pluto got under 
way to proceed with the boats, but at 9 A.M. grounded, and did not 
arrive off Selangor until 2 P.M. Parties were detached to search the 
houses, shipping, and river banks. Lieutenant Maude's party, in 
a cutter which was armed with a rocket-tube, landed, and, upon 
returning to the beach, was fired at, one man at once falling 
mortally wounded. The party, pursued by a hot fusillade, made 
the best of its way to the Pluto, which then returned the fire. In 
the scuffle and the retreat, seven members of the party were 
injured. The Malays, however, seem to have suffered much more 

Commander Robinson ordered the Pluto to weigh, her position 
and that of the boats being unduly exposed. Later in the day he 
sent her to Penang with the wounded, and with a request for troops 
and a surgeon. 3 On the 4th, the Binaldo steamed into the river 
alone. At 6.15 A.M. the forts near the southern side of the entrance 
opened on her at about 400 yards, the northern forts soon afterwards 
joining in with such good effect that in less than five minutes the 
sloop had three men wounded, and her hull and rigging much cut. 
She replied, and, steaming on, took the batteries from the rear, 
quickly knocking them to pieces and dismounting their guns. At 
6.40 A.M. Robinson anchored off the town, and laid out an anchor 

1 A. and N. Gazette, July 23, 1870. - Wounded. 

3 The Binaldo was without any medical officer, her Surgeon being ill, and her 
Assistant-Surgeon having been appointed by the C.-in-Chief to the Xaval Hospital at 
Hong Kong. A. and N. Gazette, Sept. 16, 1871. 


astern so as to keep his battery bearing on the forts. By 8 A.M. 
he had driven the enemy from all his works. Occasional guns were 
fired during the day to prevent the Malays from remanmng their 
pieces. At 4.30 P.M., after having been aground for several hours, 
the Einaldo weighed, and steamed leisurely down again, ceasing fire 
at 5.30, and re-anchoring in the road at 6. The Pluto returned on 
the 5th with a detachment of Eoyal Artillery, and another of the 
19th Madras Native Infantry. On the 6th, these troops were landed, 
but there was no further resistance, 1 and the place was quietly 

On September 20th, 1871, Bishop J. C. Patteson, of Melanesia, 
was murdered by a native of Nukapu Island, one of the Swallow 
group of the Santa Cruz archipelago in the Pacific. At about 
that time, largely, it must be admitted, in consequence of the 
iniquities of the labour traffic, the natives were exceedingly hostile 
to white men, and had recently committed numerous outrages. 
Not too soon, therefore, did the Eosario, 3, screw, Lieutenant 
Albert Hastings Markham (acting Commander), 2 undertake a cruise 
among the islands where the worst troubles had arisen. In the 
middle of November, 1871, she reached Havannah Harbour, in 
Vate, one of the New Hebrides, and thence sent her boats to 
Montague Island 3 hard by to enquire into the murder of some 
people belonging to the schooner Fanny. The natives declined to 
give up the murderers, and, attacking the party, were punished by 
the destruction of their village. On the 15th the Bosario steamed 
round, and made a harmless but effective demonstration with her 
guns. On November 23rd, the sloop anchored off Cherry Island, 
in connection with an outrage on the people of the ship Marion 
Rennie * ; but, although the natives seemed friendly, no satisfaction 
could be got out of them. Probably they were innocent. On the 
29th, the sloop reached Nukapu. Markham's object was to acquire 
information concerning the murder of the Bishop. He sent in a 
boat, which was fired at with arrows. It was recalled, but, being 
sent in again, was again fired at, whereupon the Rosario opened 
with her two 40-pr. Armstrongs and her 7-inch muzzle-loader. 

1 Eobinson to Anson, July 6 ; Robinson to Admiralty. Col. Papers, c. 466 : 1872. 

2 Com. Henry Joseph Challis, of the liosario, had been appointed acting Captain of 
the Blanche on Oct. 12, 1871, and his place had been taken by Lieut. Markham, who 
retained it until Feb. 10, when Challis, superseded in the Blandie, relieved him. 

s Otherwise Nguna. 

4 See Fiji Times, Feb. 1, 1871. 

1871.] CRUISE OF THE "liOSAHIO." 231 

At high-water a party landed and destroyed the village and canoes. 
Two of the sloop's crew were wounded in this affair, one mortally ; 
and about five-and-twenty natives are said to have been killed. 1 

Nitendi, or Santa Cruz, where Goodenough fell in 1875, and 
Espiritu Santo, the largest of the New Hebrides, were also visited. 
At Cape Lisburn, the south-west point of the latter, the natives 
were interrogated, on December 16th, as to the murder of the crew 
of the New Zealand craft, Wild Duck. They admitted having 
killed the men, and were believed to have also eaten them. Mark- 
ham would have let them off very mercifully with a fine of twenty- 
five pigs, but, as only four of these were paid, he burnt the village 
and destroyed the canoes. Pentecost and Aurora Islands were next 
touched at. At Aurora, where the natives at first seemed friendly, 
Paymaster Shuldham Samuel Crawford Hill, who had confidingly 
sat down to rest on the beach, was treacherously clubbed and badly 
hurt on December 27th ; and there also the villages and canoes were 
wrecked in retaliation. The sloop returned to Sydney on February 
8th, 1872. 2 

The fact that the offending natives were treated with a con- 
sideration which they did not merit is proved by Markham's offer 
to allow the Nitendi people to compound by the payment of a few 
pigs for the murders which they admitted having been guilty of. 
Nevertheless, the proceedings of the Eosario gave great offence 
to certain pseudo-philanthropists in England. Questions on the 
subject were even put in the House of Commons, where eventually 
Mr. Goschen quieted clamour by laying the despatches on the table. 
On the other hand, the Pacific natives were sometimes frightfully 
ill-treated. A letter written from the Basilisk, 5, paddle, Captain 
John Moresby, and dated from Cardwell, Queensland, February 5th, 
1872, contains the following : 

" This morning at about 11 o'clock, just after we had passed the entrance to tin; 
bay, there was the report of a sail, and the Captain, wishing to send letters, stood for 
her. She was soon made out to be a schooner of about 80 tons. When we got close 
to her we saw a lot of Polynesians in her. We immediately sent the first Lieutenant 
and the gig to board her ; but, as they seemed inclined to show fight, we sent the 
cutter, armed, to assist. When they got on board they found twelve blacks all right, 
one dying, and three dead of starvation, the ship stinking like a pest house, so that all 

1 Markham himself seems to doubt whether any were killed. 'Cruise of the 
Eosario,' 150-156. 

2 Sydney Empire, Feb. 9, 1872 : A. and A'. Oazette, Ap. 6 and 20, 1872. Mark- 
ham, ' Cruise of the Bosario.' 

2'.V2 MILITAltl' UlSToliY <>F THE HOYAL XAVY, 1857-1900. 

our men were as sick as possible. It appears she was a kidnapping schooner (torn 
Samoa, and, running short of provisions, besides being waterlogged, the white men, 
supposed to be Portuguese, deserted her four days ago, and left nothing for the poor 
blacks (seventeen) but a bucket of water, and not a scrap of provisions, so that they 
had eaten one of their own number. They were the most frightful looking \vretches I 
ever saw, being so fearfully attenuated, and quite naked. The very bones \\riv 
sticking through their skin ; and, as for the dead men, they were quite putrid and blue, 
so that, when they hoisted them out of the hold, a hand or a foot would be left 
behind. . . ." 

This schooner was the Peri. Subsequent inquiry showed that 
she was from Eewa, Fiji, not from Samoa, and that she had sailed, 
with 50 Polynesians and three white men on board, on December 
27th, 1871. It was suspected that the natives had really risen and 
murdered their kidnappers ; but the truth seems never to have been 
fully ascertained. 1 

During the same cruise, the Basilisk sent an expedition, under 
Lieutenant Francis Hayter, which severely punished some Australian 
aborigines who had murdered part of the crew of the brig Maria, 
wrecked on the Great Barrier Beef. 2 Navigating-Midshipman 
Hubert Heath Sabben, who had charge of a schooner, tender to 
the Basilisk, went in a boat with a small party early in 1872 in 
search of survivors of the brig's people. He was attacked by a 
large body of natives, and being shamefully deserted by his crew, 
and left ashore with only a single supporter, a gallant bluejacket 
named Springay, he was in serious peril. The two Englishmen, 
however, drove off the enemy, no fewer than sixteen of whom were 
killed or wounded by the steady fire from their Snider rifles. 3 

In May, 1872, while the Nassau, 4, screw surveying vessel, 
Commander William Chimmo, was engaged in the performance of 
her duties in the Sulu Sea, she had occasion to land a boat's crew 
on the north-east end of Sulu Island, where it was desired to take 
bearings. The party was attacked on May llth by forty or fifty 
Illanoon pirates, and had to retreat fighting, several people, in- 
cluding Navigating-Lieutenant Francis John Gray, 4 being wounded. 
Attempts were made to secure satisfaction, it being at first supposed 
that the natives had mistaken the British for Spaniards ; but, as 
the enemy, during prolonged negotiations, displayed a truculent 
attitude, the Nassau eventually shelled and destroyed their village, 

1 Many examples of the barbarity of the kidnappers are given by Markham. 
- A. and N. Gazette, June 15, 1872. A. and N. Gazette, July 20, 1872. 

4 Transferred on Apr. 1, 1873, to the Lieutenants' list with seniority of Mar. 2, 
1866, in recognition of this service. 

N i 

J ft 

\ j^ 

*' I 




Carang-Carang. 1 During the operations about 190 of the pirates 
were believed to have been killed. 

A very creditable capture of a slave-dhow was made in the same 
year by the boats of the Vulture, 3, twin-screw, Commander Robert 
Barclay Cay, off Eas-el-Had, in the Persian Gulf. The affair, which 
gained promotion for Sub-Lieutenant Frank Hannam Henderson, 
revealed in their most repulsive forms some of the horrors of the 
middle passage. Of 169 slaves on board, no fewer than 36 were 
found to be down with small-pox. Forty-four wretches, who, before 
the capture, had been recognised by the crew and slave-merchants 
to be -infected, had been flung overboard alive ; and when it had 
been seen that this procedure did not check the spread of the plague, 
the owners had run to the other extreme, and had forced sick and 
sound to huddle together until the vessel became so foul that the 
captors could hardly endure to board her. 2 

The Bittern, 3, twin-screw, Commander the Hon. Archibald 
St. Clair, rendered some useful services on the West Coast of 
Africa., In January, 1872, she undertook active operations against 
the piratical natives of Corisco and Elobey Islands, after the loss 
of the mail steamer, McGregor Laird, and succeeded in capturing 
Coomba, the chief of Corisco. She was subsequently engaged in 
the mouth of the Congo in protecting the Banana Creek factories 
from native attack. 

For many years the ownership of the San Juan, or Haro Islands, 
an archipelago lying between Vancouver Island and the mainland, 
had been disputed by Great Britain and the United States. In 
July, 1859, when the group was in the joint occupation of the two 
powers, 3 General Harney, commanding in Washington Territory, 
largely reinforced the American garrison in San Juan, and made an 
unqualified declaration of United States sovereignty. The Governor 
of British Columbia remonstrated, but General Harney persisted, 
and, indeed, persisted in a most provocative manner. Happily the 
government of the United States assumed a more friendly attitude, 
and despatched to the scene of the dispute G-eneral Winfield Scott, 
with whom it was amicably arranged that the American reinforce- 
ment should be withdrawn, and that both powers should maintain 
only a very small number of troops in the islands, pending the 
ultimate settlement of their ownership. In consequence of the 

' Kl raits Times. 2 Times of India ; A. and N. Gazette, Oct. 26, 1872. 

Under a provisional arrangement come to iu 1855. 


temporary friction, a small British squadron had been ordered to the 
scene. This thereupon dispersed, leaving behind it, however, a few 
Eoyal Marines to serve as garrison under the agreement. Thence- 
forward, for many years, Marines were stationed in the islands. 
After General Harney's recall, in 1860, the joint occupation was 
managed with good feeling on both sides. At length, by arbitration 
of the German Emperor, on October 21st, 1872, the dispute was 
settled in favour of the United States ; and the British Marines, 
then commanded by Captain William Addis Delacombe, evacuated 
the islands on November 22nd following. 

Among the vessels most active in their operations against the 
slave-trade on the east coast of Africa and in the Eed Sea at about 
the time when Sir Bartle Frere, as envoy to Zanzibar and Muscat, 
was specially exerting himself against it, were the Columbine, 3, 
screw, commanded in 1871-3 by Commanders John Collier Tucker, 
and Edward William Hereford ; the Daphne, 5, screw, Commander 
Eichard Sacheverell Bateman ; and the Thetis, 13, screw, Captain 
Thomas Le Hunte Ward. The Columbine took numerous dhows, 
especially in 1871 ; the Daphne, which also made many prizes, had 
the misfortune to lose one of her officers, Sub-Lieutenant Marcus 
M'Causland, in a treacherous affair with natives at Kiunga, near 
Barawa, on the Somali coast, in the autumn of 1873 ; and the Thetis, 
though then only passing through the station on her way to China, 
captured ten dhows in May, 1873. Most of them, however, seem 
not to have been slavers, for they were not condemned. After the 
murder at Kiunga, Sub-Lieutenant Percy Hockin, 1 who was boat- 
cruising in company with the dhow from which M'Causland had 
landed, took his men ashore with great determination, and forcibly 
obliged the murderers to give up the body. He afterwards proceeded 
to the southward, until he fell in with some boats of the Briton, 10, 
screw, under Lieutenant Arthur Stephens Phillpotts, with whom he 
returned, and partially destroyed Kiunga. 2 

In 1872-73, disputes relative to the then partly-built interoceanic 
railway led to the overthrow of President Medina, of Honduras, and 
to the installation in his place of Senor Arias. A movement was 
thereupon begun in Honduras and Guatemala for the reinstatement 
of Medina, who lay imprisoned at Comayagua ; and the troops 
assembled for the purpose from both states were placed under the 

1 Promoted to be Lieutenant, Sept. 23, 1873. 

2 A. and N. Gazette, Nav. 22, 1873. 


orders of General Palacios, who had been Guatemalan minister in 
London. As the railway was being built largely with British capital 
and under British supervision, British interests suffered considerably 
from the disturbances, and from the consequent insecurity. Puerto 
Cortez, the Atlantic terminus of the line, lies near the Honduran town 
of Omoa ; and at Omoa is the ancient Spanish casemated fort of 
San Fernando, which was occupied by a certain General Streber, on 
behalf of Arias ; the old governor, General Alvarez, being superseded, 
but remaining as commandant of the port. In view of this situation, 
the Niobe, Commander Sir Lambton Loraine, Bart., 1 was despatched 
from Jamaica to Omoa in June, 1873, with instructions to protect 
British interests and to enforce treaty obligations. On her way, 
she called at Truxillo, where Loraine was informed of certain acts 
of oppression which had been committed in the Bay Islands against 
neutral persons who were under treaty protection. At Puerto Cortez 
Streber was found to have made military exactions from the railway 


company, and to have tried to force the company's labourers to join 
him. He was duly cautioned ; and the Niobe then proceeded to 
Belize, 2 to gain further intelligence from the Lieutenant-Governor, 
and from Mr. Debrot, British vice-consul at Omoa, who had taken 
refuge in British Honduras, to escape from the outrages and tyranny 
of Streber. That general had also obliged the Spanish and Portuguese 
consuls to flee with their families ; and the people had ta'ken up 
their residence on the Zapotillo Cays, dependencies of British 
Honduras ; whither Streber had had the audacity, on July 4th, to 
send an expedition which captured and handcuffed the fugitives, and 
carried them off, after threatening the inhabitants. They were 

1 A few months earlier, Sir Lambton had exhibited a salutary display of determina- 
tion at Puerto Plata, San Domingo, where three refugees had been kidnapped from the 
British Consulate. The governor himself was forced to remove the shackles from 
the feet of his prisoners, and then to deliver them up on board the Niobe. The San 
Domingan troops were also obliged to replace the ensign above the consulate, and to 
*alute it with twenty-one guns. A. and N. Gaz., May 17, 1873. 

* Arriving on July 12th. 


fortunately retaken on their way to Omoa by a steamer belonging 
to Palacios. 

When Sir Lambton Loraine returned to Omoa, he learnt that, in 
his absence, Palacios had secured military possession of the railway 
works at Puerto Cortez, and, by occupying San Pedro, had wholly 
cut off Streber from connection with Arias and the interior. Streber 
was communicated with, and was induced to promise that, upon 
proof being given that British territory had been violated, he would 
give satisfaction, and that, in the meantime, he would abstain from 
further raids in that direction. The discussion about the Zapotillo 
affair occupied nearly a fortnight ; and, during much of that period, 
the Niobe, as she had yellow fever on board, usually kept under sail 
in the offing, or visited Puerto Cortez. Thus, her Commander 
could not continuously observe what was going on in Omoa ; nor 
did he learn immediately after the occurrence that on July 29th 
some of Streber's soldiers had rifled a building belonging to Mr. 
Debrot. Indeed, though he was at Omoa on the 30th and 31st, 
he heard no news of the outrage until his return on August 15th 
from a cruise to the Bay Islands. He was then met with sworn 
evidence, not only of the events of July 29th, but also of further 
outrages, including the tearing down of the British flag, the robbing 
of Mr. Debrot's premises, the firing on the troops of Palacios under 
a flag of truce, and the sacking of Omoa in celebration of this 
treachery, foreign property suffering to the extent of 20,000, and 
four British subjects being imprisoned, after one of them had been 

Having satisfied himself as to the facts, Sir Lambton Loraine 
took on board the acting British vice-consul, Mr. Bain, and, on 
August 18th, anchored in a suitable position opposite the fort of 
San Fernando. Early on the following morning Streber was supplied 
with a precis of the evidence, and desired to give his explanations, 
to deliver up the prisoners, and to state what reparation he purposed 
to offer. Four hours were allowed him for a reply. In the interim 
General Alvarez visited the Niobe, informed himself as to what 
terms would be accepted, expressed his sense of their fairness, and 
obtained an additional three hours' delay. At the end of that time, 
it being 2 P.M., Alvarez returned with a verbal refusal of satisfaction 
from Streber, whose folly he denounced, and who, at the moment, 
paraded his troops on the ramparts, and fired shots of defiance, 
though not towards the Niobe. Loraine sent ashore a letter stating 


what course he intended to pursue, and, at 2.30, Alvarez remaining 
on board, opened a bombardment of the fort with his 7-in. and 
40-pr. guns. The troops promptly disappeared from the ramparts, 
and returned the fire only with badly aimed musketry. The Niobe 
pounded the 20-foot walls for three hours and three quarters, and 
then withdrew until 1 A.M. on August 20th, when she closed again, 
and fired at long intervals until 4 A.M. At 9 A.M. a white flag was 
shown, and Streber's secretary went off to the ship with a verbal 
request for a 72 hours' truce. This was refused, and a renewed 
bombardment promised for 2.30 P.M. unless a satisfactory written 
communication should be received in the interval. Nevertheless, 
some further delay was accorded ; and it was not until 1 P.M. on 
the 21st that Streber at last yielded, promising surrender of the 
prisoners, restitution of stolen goods, and compensation for damage 
done. He subsequently signed a formal declaration to the same 
effect ; but he so badly carried out parts of his undertaking that, 011 
September 10th, a detachment had to be landed from the Niobe to 
secure and seal up the plundered houses, and to nail a British flag 
over the vice-consulate. The vessel sailed on September 13th for 
Jamaica. She had suffered neither loss nor damage. 1 

Sir Lambton Loraine's proceedings in this matter were so 
warmly approved by the British at Belize, and so well supported 
by Commodore Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey and Vice- 
Admiral George Greville Wellesley, Commander-in-Chief, that Mr. 
Gladstone's government, perhaps unwillingly, realised their necessity, 
and stood by the action of the Commander, who, very soon after- 
wards, had a further opportunity of showing his readiness to assume 
serious responsibilities. 

Some piratical Chinese freebooters in the Larut River, on the 
Perak coast, gave much trouble in 1873, especially in connection 
with an attack which they made upon the British steamer, Fair 
Malacca. At length it was decided to take the severest measures 
against them ; and, on September 19th, by arrangement, the 
Thalia, 6, screw, Captain Henry Bedford Woollcombe, met the 
Midge, 4, twin-screw, Commander John Frederick George Grant, 
which already had had peculiar experience both of the local water- 
ways and of the habits of the pirates throughout the Straits of 
Malacca. Indeed, on September 16th, while two of her boats were 
searching a creek, they had been set upon by row-boats, supported 
1 Disps. Priv. accounts of eye-witnesses. A. it- N. Gazette, Oct. 18, Oct. 25, 187;!. 


by fire from a 7-gun stockade. After a hot action, in which the 
British had employed both small-arms and rockets, the Chinese had 
been driven off with heavy loss, but not until Sub-Lieutenants 
William Booke Cresswell, and Abraham Hamilton Lindesay had 
been badly wounded. 

At the mouth of the river the two commanders consulted ; and, 
on the morning of September 20th, towed by the Midge, and by 
the yacht of the friendly Bajah Muntri, the ships' boats went up 
the stream. At about 11 A.M., being near the fort, the stockade, 
and the three heavy war junks which belonged to the pirates, 
the boats cast off, led by the Thalia's galley under Wooll- 
combe in person, and covered by the fire of the Midge, while, 
soon afterwards, the Bajah's yacht, brought up by Grant, steamed 
close to the fort, and there anchored. The enemy fired briskly ; 
but, apparently the attack was delayed owing to the yacht drifting 
ashore under the Chinese guns. She was, however, got off, thanks 
largely to the energy of Gunner Alexander Ellis, of the Thalia, who 
gallantly laid out an anchor for the piirpose ; and, soon after 2 P.M., 
the attack was most daringly delivered. The Chinese fought 
stubbornly, and, being about 4000 in number, while only 150 
seamen formed the assaulting party, were a formidable enemy. 
But at length they were driven from all their positions, and the 
fort, the stockade, and the three junks were taken possession of, 
and destroyed, all the guns being spiked. The boats then proceeded 
further up the river in company with the yacht, burnt a fourth 
junk, captured a fifth, and destroyed a second stockade ; whereupon 
the pirate chiefs surrendered unconditionally with the whole of their 
forces. They had lost about 200 men in the fighting. 1 The British 
had two people (one mortally) wounded. 

In the same year there occurred an affair which has provided the 
international lawyers with some famous precedents, and which is 
also interesting as an illustration of the kind of good work which is 
often done for humanity at large by the British Navy. 

The Virginias, an American steamer secretly engaged in the 
cause of the rebellion in Cuba, after causing some anxiety and 
trouble to the British authorities at Jamaica, who suspected her 
true character, but could obtain no proof of it, sailed from Kingston 
on October 23rd, 1873, ostensibly bound for Port Limon, in Costa 

1 Penang Gazette, Oct. 4, 1873. Disps., especially Woollcombe's of Oct. 4. Col. 
Papers, c. 1111, 1871. A. & N. Gaz., Aug. 19, 1876. 


Rica, for which place she had been advertised to sail with passengers, 
having been cleared in due form by the United States Consul. She 
carried 155 people, of whom 103 were passengers, while the re- 
maining 52 included the crew and certain poor persons who had 
been engaged to work their passage to Port Limon. Among the 
155 were 32 British subjects, and 14 citizens of the United States. 
The rest were principally Cubans ; and four of them were chiefs of 
the Cuban rebellion, and were named Varona, Cespedes, Del Sol, 
and Byan. The steamer was commanded by Captain Fry, formerly 
of the United States Navy. 

Soon after leaving Jamaica the Virginius began to leak, and 
directed her course to Haiti, ostensibly for repairs, but really to- 
embark arms and ammunition. This done she left her anchorage on 
October 30th, and steered for the coast of Cuba, to the dismay of the 
British passengers and all who, like them, had paid their passage 
money to Costa Rica- 

On the afternoon of October 31st the Virginius was sighted 
eighteen or twenty miles off the coast of Cuba by the Spanish man- 
of-war Tornado, whose commander, suspecting her intentions, gave 
chase, and, though without any international right to do so, captured 
her that same night on the high seas while running towards Jamaica. 
It is said that the arms embarked at Haiti had been thrown over- 
board during the chase. 

On the following day, November 1st, the Tornado arrived with 
her prize at Santiago de Cuba. All on board the Virginius were 
at once declared by the Spanish authority, and in defiance of 
public law, to- be pirates. Their property was taken from them. 
The crew, brought into harbour ironed and corded, was then con- 
veyed on board Spanish gunboats to await trial by a naval court- 
martial. The passengers were thrown into prison to await trial by a 
military one. 

Brigadier-General Don Juan Nepomuceno Burriel y Lynch was 
at that time departmental governor of the district of which Santiago 
is the capital. This officer found himself in the fortunate position- 
so far as concerned the immediate purposes which he cherished of 
being cut off for a time from his superior authority at Havana, as 
well as from Spain and all Europe, by the fortuitous interruptions of 
telegraphic communication between Santiago and the western end of 
the island. 

It may be added that General Jovellar, then Captain-General of 


Cuba, and Senor Castelar, head of the republican government in 
Spain, both stated afterwards that they had received no information 
of the proceedings at Santiago until it was too late to interfere. 
General Burriel, on his own part, had mendaciously affirmed to 
his interlocutors, all through, that he was acting under the orders 
of superior authority. 

General Burriel's first step was to stop the sending of telegrams 
to Jamaica (that line being open) on the part of the United States 
Consul at Santiago, to whose protests against the Virginias' s capture 
and the impending trials by courts-martial he had responded in- 
sultingly. On November 4th the four captured insurgent chiefs 
were shot. This news reached Jamaica on November 5th. The 
fate of the Cuban chiefs inspired there no particular regret, and, had 
the justly exasperated Spanish authorities gone no further, their 
illegalities of procedure might have been condoned by the British. 
When, however, the following day brought to Jamaica further tele- 
grams from Santiago to the effect that thirty-seven of the Virginius's 
crew half of them British subjects and mostly innocent cooks, 
stewards, servants, and firemen were about to be condemned to 
death, the community received a shock. Sir John Peter Grant, 
Governor of Jamaica, and Commodore Algernon Eous de Horsey, 
commanding the West Indies division, at once telegraphed strong 
protests against these summary and bloodthirsty proceedings, and 
H.M.S. Niobe, Commander Sir Lambton Loraine, Bart., was 
ordered by the Commodore to sail the same night (November 6th) 
for Santiago de Cuba to stop them. 

The protests just mentioned, together with the prospect of a 
man-of-war's interference, had no other effect than to cause General 
Burriel to hurry on his summary courts and to execute their sen- 
tences with all rapidity. The naval court-martial sat through the 
night of the 6th, and on the morning of the 7th the aforesaid thirty- 
seven captives among them Captain Fry, with eight other Ameri- 
cans and nineteen innocent British subjects were sent from the 
Spanish men-of-war to the gaol under sentence of death. Their 
consuls had been denied access to these friendless persons, and, on 
protesting, had received contemptuous replies. The Spanish priests, 
however, had free access to them, and seized the opportunity to assail 
the faith of all who did not belong to their own communion. At 
about 4 P.M. the thirty-seven were marched from the gaol, bound 
with cords and followed by the exultant shouts of the crowd, to the 

1873.] THE " VIRGINIUS" AFFAIR. 241 

common slaughter-house of the town ; and there, ranged in line 
against the wall surrounding this place, all on their knees and facing 
the wall, they were shot. So clumsily was the execution performed 
that, although four soldiers were detailed to each victim and ordered 
to pour their fire into his back at close quarters, seven minutes of 
struggling and butchery were counted by a spectator before the last 
man was completely despatched. The bodies were carted off in loads 
and shot into a trench hard by. 

On the following morning, November 8th, at 7 A.M., and while 
the Niobe was nearing her goal, twelve of the more prominent Cuban 
prisoners were shot in like manner. At 9.30 A.M. the Niobe arrived 
and cast anchor. Not many minutes afterwards, her Commander, 
accompanied by Mr. Theodore Brooks, British acting Vice-Consul, 
presented himself at Government House and called for a cessation of 
the executions. He was passionately answered by Burriel that the 
prisoners were in the power of Spain, and that any more of them 
sentenced to death would infallibly be shot. Written arguments 
impeaching the legality of his proceedings were next addressed to 
the Governor by the Commander. Burriel only found fault with his 
interference, and would give no guarantee. All, indeed, that could 
be obtained from him was permission for Sir Lambton Loraine and 
the acting Vice-Consul to visit the prison, with liberty there to see 
and question in open court such of the accused as were of their own 
nationality. The British Commander, therefore, authorised his Con- 
sulate to give out that the shedding of more innocent blood would be 
the signal for him to sink the Spanish man-of-war lying nearest to 
the Niobe. 

Nothing was heard of executions thereafter ; and Burriel, for the 
first time, consented to refer to his Captain-General. But for this 
check on his vindictive intentions, it is probable that of the remaining 
prisoners fifty-seven would have been shot, and forty-five (being 
mere youths and boys) sent to penal servitude for life. All instead 
were freed. The citizens of Santiago, ultra patriots all, had been 
looking forward eagerly to their Governor prolonging the executions 
through several days. "No hay carne fresca esta rnanana?" (Is 
there no fresh meat this morning?) they would say. In the written 
language of the commander of the Tornado, their " enthusiasm was 
turned into frenzy." Meanwhile, the British Commander, attended 
by the acting Vice-Consul and two Spanish magistrates, examined, 
in the hall of justice in the gaol, the prisoners claiming to be British. 



In course of time, the circumstances became known in Europe 
and America, and on November 15th (a week after the last exe- 
cutions) a telegram reached Santiago de Cuba to announce that 
the British Government had notified Spain that her government 
and all concerned would be held responsible for any further execu- 
tions of British subjects. This was the coup de grace, and it was 
followed next day by the necessary telegraphic orders from Spain, 
extended so as to apply to the prisoners of all nationalities. 

Up to that time no foreign power but Britain had been repre- 
sented in Santiago harbour ; and the foreign consulates were without 
instructions. Of Spanish men-of-war there had been six present ; 
but two were detached on November 13th to escort the Virginius to 
Havana. The town itself and the fortifications of the harbour were 
amply garrisoned. Even when, at length, ships of war from the 
United States and from France appeared on the scene (November 
26th-December 2nd), it was left to the Niobe, on an occasion when 
the Spanish Governor, Morales, acting in Burriel's place, clandes- 
tinely removed the prisoners in the night (December 3rd) and 
shipped them off in a gun-vessel outside the harbour, to pursue 
that vessel as far as Havana, and there procure orders from the 
Captain-General of Cuba for her immediate return, with the 
prisoners, to Santiago. 

The first result of diplomatic negotiations was that, on demand 
of the United States, the V-irginius'was surrendered to the American 
flag. This took place at Bahia Honda on December 15th. Next, 
the surviving prisoners, 102 in all, were delivered up to the U.S. cor- 
vette Juniata at Santiago on the 18th, the Niobe being present. 
There, for the last time, a refined cruelty was practised by the 
Spanish officials on the captives, in informing them they were being 
taken out of prison to be shot. The Virginius herself speedily came 
to an end. She sank off the American coast while being towed from 
Bahia Honda towards New York. The released captives were in 
due time dispersed by the United States' authorities to their own 
homes. In the sequel the British Government demanded from 
Spain a national recognition of the wrong done to Great Britain, 
and compensation to the families of the British subjects executed. 
The United States demanded further the trial of General Burriel, 
but that was not conceded ; and after a time the man was 
appointed to an important governorship in the Peninsula. He died 
in January, 1878. 


For his services in this affair, Sir Lambton Loraine received the 
thanks of the British and French Governments, the freedom of the 
city of New York, and other well-deserved recognition, but, pro- 
bably because he was only a Commander, not the honour of a C.B. 

Early in 1873, King Amadeus, after a brief and anxious experi- 
ence of its discomforts, resigned the crown of Spain, and, quitting 
the country, left it a prey to various factions. Of these the strongest 
for the moment was the republican party, which, under Senores 
Salmeron and Castelar, assumed power at Madrid ; but in the north 
the Carlists were active, and in more than one town on the Mediter- 
ranean littoral a separate cantonal government of communist type 
was proclaimed. 

One of the places to take this course was the important naval 
port of Cartagena, in Murcia, where the Intransigentes seized a 
considerable part of the Spanish fleet, including the four ironclads, 
Numancia, Vitoria, Tetuan, and Mendez Nunez, together with 
several unarmoured craft. On July 20th, President Salmeron 
proclaimed these vessels to be pirates, and his foreign minister 
duly brought the fact to the notice of the diplomatic corps in 

In the meantime, in consequence of the action of the British 
consul at Valencia, the British and German senior naval officers on 
that part of the coast had entered into an agreement each to afford 
protection to the subjects and interests of the other as well as of his 
own nationality. The senior German officer was Captain Werner, 
of the ironclad Friedrich Carl. He at once quitted Valencia for 
Alicante, where the Intransigentes were believed to be about to 
cause trouble. The British force on the coast was small, but 
information as to the state of affairs at Cartagena and elsewhere 
was promptly despatched to Malta, whence, in pursuance of orders 
from the Admiralty, the ironclad Swiftsure, Captain Thomas Le 
Hunte Ward, departed westward on July 25th, followed, on the 
26th, by the ironclads Lord Warden, Captain Thomas Brandreth, 
bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Hastings Reginald Yelverton, 
K.C.B., Invincible, Captain John Clark Soady, and Pallas, Captain 
Charles John Rowley. The Helicon, dispatch vessel, Lieutenant 
Frank Rougemont, was left behind to await the arrival of the 
English mail, via Italy, and then to press after the other ships with 
all speed. 

Werner's prompt appearance before Alicante checkmated the 

R 2 


designs of the Cartagena Intransigentes there. He discovered the 
Vitoria, which, with the revolutionary leader Galvez Arce on board, 
had sent in a demand for the instant payment of a war contribution 
of $80,000, and which, upon the refusal of the local authorities to 
comply, had already bombarded the place, but had- wisely desisted 
upon learning of the Friedrich Carl's approach. The pirate had 
committed this outrage under the red flag, but she hoisted, and 
saluted with, the Spanish flag when Werner was sighted. She then 
steamed to sea, and as soon as she was out of gunshot rehoisted the 
red flag. On July 22nd, as Werner was about to return to Carta- 
gena, Salmeron's proclamation of the 20th was brought on board to 
him by the German consul. He reached Cartagena on the 23rd at 
1 A.M., and found the Vitoria already anchored there. As day broke 
there came in the dispatch-vessel Vigilante, which hoisted the new 
unauthorised flag, and, moreover, had been seen on the previous 
day in company with the Vitoria. She paid no heed to Werner's 
orders, enforced with an unshotted gun, to bring to ; and, as soon as 
the German captain had been assured by his consul that the new- 
comer was one of the Intransigente ships, he decided to take posses- 
sion of her. He instantly seized her, capturing with her the 
insurgent leader Galvez Arce ; and she was placed securely in a 
berth between the Friedrich Carl and the British gun -boat 
Pigeon, 2, Lieutenant John Archibald Harvey Trotter, which had 
arrived that morning, and which happened to be the craft with whose 
commander Werner had made the compact at Valencia a few days 
earlier. The Cartagenans were furious, and threatened reprisals. 

With the co-operation of a British Captain, who soon afterwards 
reached the spot, Werner arranged with the Intransigentes that no 
ship should quit Cartagena until July 28th, by which date he hoped 
to receive instructions from his government. Galvez Arce and his 
friends promised to take care of the lives of all German and British 
subjects on shore, and when, in addition, they formally admitted 
that the Vigilante, having been taken under unrecognised colours, 
was good prize, Werner released his prisoners. 

In the interim the whole Spanish coast, from Barcelona to Cadiz, 
was carefully watched by British and German vessels ; and a large 
international squadron began to assemble in Spanish waters. 

Early on August 1st, the Friedrich Carl appeared off Malaga, 
which was threatened with bombardment by the Intransigentes. A 
few hours later, the Sw-iftsure, which, as has been shown, had left 


Malta on July 25th, also arrived there. Malaga, like Cartagena, 
had declared itself independent of the central government at Madrid ; 
but this fact did not prevent the Cartagenans from desiring to levy 
a contribution from the town, money being very scarce in Murcia. 
At Malaga lay the French frigate Jeanne d'Arc. 

Werner and Ward put to sea together, and found in the offing 
the Intransigente ironclad Vitoria, and frigate Almansa, flying no 
flags, and declining to hoist any, until a shot from the Friedrich 
Carl across the Almansa's bows brought the Spanish flag to the 
peak, and a flag of truce to the truck. Werner then ordered the 
insurgent General Contreras to quit the Almansa and go on board 
the Friedrich Carl. The rebel chief did so, and was made prisoner ; 
the Almansa was taken possession of by the Germans, and simul- 
taneously the Swiftsure's people seized the Vitoria. The two 
captains were about to conduct their prizes back to Cartagena, and 
there to liberate them, when they were fallen in with by Vice- 
Admiral Yelverton, who directed that the vessels should be retained, 
and that Contreras should be kept as a hostage, but that the 
crews might be released upon certain conditions. Werner and 
Ward, accordingly, took the ships to Cartagena, and on August 3rd 
anchored them in Escombrera Bay. Yelverton, who was overtaken 
by the Helicon shortly before he reached Gibraltar, anchored there 
on August 2nd. 

At Cartagena the people belonging to the prizes were put ashore. 
Malaga was delighted at Werner's conduct, and the British Captains 
were loud in their praises of his behaviour. Unfortunately he was 
disavowed by his political superiors in Berlin, and, on August 14th, 
was superseded, though he was immediately employed elsewhere. 
Berlin made a mistake, and a few months later Werner's successor 
found himself obliged to deliver an ultimatum to the Cartagenan 
insurgents, and to claim payment of an indemnity of $15,000 under 
threat of bombardment. Had Werner's action been supported 
throughout, German interests would have been respected by the 
Intransigeiites from August 1st onwards. 

The Vitoria and Almansa remained in Escombrera Bay in charge 
of Yelverton, who proceeded in person to the scene. He was 
anxious to hand them over to the Madrid government, which, 
however, seemed at the time to be almost impotent, and which was 
then able to send to sea only a wooden frigate and three old paddle- 
vessels. Occasional shots from the insurgent batteries fell near 


the British ships and boats, but Yelverton diplomatically assumed 
that these were fired unintentionally in his direction. While he 
waited at Cartagena with the ironclads Lord Warden, Triumph, 
Captain John Dobree M'Crea, and Siviftsure, the Helicon, and the 
gun-vessel Torch, 5, Commander Hugh M'Neile Dyer, he kept the 
Pallas, and the Rapid, 11, Commander the Hon. Alexander 
Montagu, at Barcelona ; the Hart, 1 4, Commander Thomas Harvey 
Eoyse, at Valentia ; the Pheasant, 1 2, Lieutenant George Woronzow 
Allen, at Malaga ; the Invincible at Cadiz ; and the rest of his 
immediately available force 2 at Gibraltar. 

Towards the end of August, as the Spanish Admiral Lobo 
seemed to be less able than ever to meet the Intransigentes with 
any reasonable prospect of beating them, Yelverton made up his 
mind to remove the prizes to an anchorage where their custody 
would be less troublesome to him. On August 31st he caused all 
the merchantmen in harbour to be towed out of the way, ordered 
all his ships to get up steam and to be prepared to slip, and warned 
the Consul and British subjects ashore to be ready to go off to the 
squadron in case of need ; and, on September 1st, in spite of the 
threats of the insurgents, he brought out the Vitoria and Almansa, 
under their own steam, and with British crews on board. The 
prizes and their escort passed the three ironclads, Numancia, -Mendez 
Nunez and Tetuan, and the forts, all of which had their guns loaded 
and run out; but nothing happened. Had a shot been fired, the 
three ironclads were to have been taken or sunk by the Lord 
Warden, Triumph and Swiftsiire, and the forts were to have been 
afterwards silenced. 

The Vitoria and Almansa, which were in a disgustingly filthy 
condition when captured, were convoyed by the Swiftsure and 
Triumph to Gibraltar, where they arrived on August 3rd. They 
were eventually handed over to Admiral Lobo, who was waiting 
there for them, and who, on October llth following, employed them 
in a long-range indecisive engagement, which he fought off Carta- 
gena. As for the rest of Yelverton's squadron, after the bringing 
out of the prizes it returned to its anchorage in Escombrera Bay, 
where it was not molested. 3 After the action of October llth, 

1 Later summoned to Cartagena. 

2 Including the detached squadron under Eear-Adm. Fredk. Archibald Campbell. 

8 Disps., Brit, and German; Tesdorpf, ' Gesch. der k. d. Marine'; A. and N. 
Gazette, Aug. 16, Aug. 30, Sept. 6, Sept. 13, 1873. 

1873.] THE ASHANTEE WAR. 247 

Yelverton sent Lieutenant Tynte Ford Hammill to Cartagena, and 
Commander Eoyse to Admiral Lobo with offers of surgical assis- 
tance. Lobo professed to have no killed or wounded. The 
Intransigentes appeared to need no help. In the middle of the 
month, Sir Hastings was happily instrumental in preventing the 
insurgent ships from Cartagena from bombarding Valencia. A. 
blockade of the port was afterwards established. 

On March 5th, 1867, a convention had been concluded between 
Great Britain and the Netherlands, in virtue of which a transfer of 
territory had taken place in that part of West Africa known as the 
Gold Coast. Great Britain handed over to Holland Apollonia, 
Dixcove, Secondee, Cornmenda, and the protectorate of Denkira, 
East and West Wassaw, and native Apollonia, while she received 
part of Accra, Cormantine, Moree, and Apam. 

The negroes were not pleased with the transaction. The king 
of Apollonia, and other chiefs, protested ; and the people of 
Commenda, refusing to accept the arrangement, attacked a boat's 
crew from a Dutch man-of-war, killed some seamen, captured 
others, and were punished by having their town bombarded. At 
Dixcove there was another conflict ; nor were affairs much more 
satisfactory in the new British protectorate. 

It seemed, however, that the country might soon settle down 
if the whole coast were subjected to a uniform system of customs 
duties, and if only one European flag flew there ; and as the Dutch 
were not enthusiastically in love with their possessions, it was 
found easy to begin negotiations with them for the cession to Great 
Britain of all their remaining Gold Coast territory. 

The attitude of the coast tribes for generations had been greatly 
influenced by that of the King of Ashantee, 1 a considerable tract 
of country forming the Gold Coast hinterland. In 1868 a new 
king, Coffee Calcallee, young, warlike, and ambitious, mounted the 
Ashantee throne, and embarked at once upon an anti-European 
policy. He committed several outrages to the westward, in the 
neighbourhood of the Eiver Volta ; and a relative of his, Prince 
Atjempon, stirred up some of the Fantees and Denkiras to assist 
him in an attack upon the Dutch forts at Elmina. 

1 General authorities for the history of the causes and events of the Ashantee War : 
Winwood Reade, ' The Ashantee Campaign ' (1874) ; Stanley, ' Coomassie and 
Magdala' (1874); Hay, ' Ashanti and the Gold Coast' (1873); H. Brackenbury, 
' Narrative of the Ashanti War ' (1874) ; Boyle, etc. 

1873.] THE ASI1ANTEE WAR. 249 

Mr. Salmon, British Administrator of Cape Coa'st Castle, inter- 
fered to prevent tribes under British protection from going to war 
with Great Britain's allies, and checked the formation of a Fantee 
Confederation, which had been projected by speculative traders and 
ambitious natives. 

On the other hand, the attack on Elmina rendered Sir Arthur 
Kennedy, Governor of the British West African settlements, un- 
willing to contemplate the proposed transfer of Elmina to Britain 
so long as there was danger of Ashantee complications arising out 
of the transaction. The position of Holland was that Ashantee 
had no claim whatsoever upon Elmina. Coffee Calcallee, however, 
maintained that from time immemorial the Elmina forts had paid 
regular tribute to his predecessors, and that Elmina was practically 
his. It had brought him in, he said, 80 a year ; but the Dutch 
contended that the 80 was neither tribute nor rent, but merely 
a present. 

To induce Coffee Calcallee to adopt their view, the Hollanders 
arrested his relative, Atjempon, and stopped the payment of the 
80 ; and by these and other methods they secured from Coffee 
an unwilling retractation of his former statement. 

This seemed to remove the objections on the part of Great 
Britain to accepting the transfer of Elmina ; and when, in April, 
1872, Mr. John Pope Hennessy succeeded to the governor-general- 
ship, he arrived with instructions to complete the business. The 
cession was thereupon effected, mainly on the strength of British 
confidence in Dutch representations. 

Coffee Calcallee was displeased ; and, upon demands being made 
to him for the release of some missionaries and others who had been 
taken prisoners during the raids to the westward in 1869, he declined 
to surrender them, save upon payment of 1800 oz. of gold. The 
result was a blockade of the trade-routes leading from the coast into 

If the British Government, as represented by Mr. Pope Hennessy, 
had been firm and consistent in its attitude, it is possible that war 
might have been avoided, in spite of the disturbances which broke 
out at Elmina and elsewhere when it became known that the 
transfer had been decided on. Unfortunately, Coffee Calcallee was 
by turns threatened and cajoled. He was given to understand that 
on no account would the British pay him the 1800 oz. of gold, 
but it was suggested that perhaps the missionary society whose 


missionaries had been captured might be disposed to spend 1000 
on effecting their liberation. Moreover, a present of gold-embroidered 
silks was forwarded to the King : he was told that his roads should 
be opened again to traders ; and he was promised a yearly gratuity 
double that which he had received from the Dutch. In addition, 
a turbulent Ashantee, who had been imprisoned at Cape Coast 
Castle, was liberated, and his expenses up country were paid. But 
the still more turbulent and dangerous native, Atjempon himself, 
was arrested, and then inconsequently released before the European 
captives had been freed ; and although the imprisoned missionaries 
had been sent down as far as the River Prah, and their society had 
supplied the 1000 for their ransom, it was foolishly determined 
that the money should not be handed over until the poor people 
were safe at Cape Coast Castle. 

The indecision, weakness, delay, and haggling of the administra- 
tion, coupled with the fact that Atjempon returned to Coomassie, 
the capital of Ashantee, on the eve of a " grand custom," or court 
orgie, brought matters to a crisis. Coffee Calcallee, nattered by his 
subjects, spurred on by his war chiefs, annoyed by the story of 
Atjempon's imprisonment, and excited by what he had eaten and 
drunk, swore that he would conquer all lands from Coomassie to the 
sea, and would wash his royal stool in British blood at Cape Coast 

On January 22nd, 1873, he began his invasion of territories 
which, though absolutely undefended, were under nominal British 
protection. The chiefs of Assin, Abrah, Annamaboe, and Mankassim 
applied in terror for aid. Fifty Houssa police were sent from Lagos, 
but only as far as Dunquah, where, even had they been ten times as 
numerous, they would have been useless. Sixty thousand Ashantees, 
having crossed the Prah, were advancing in three armies towards 
the coast. At that time Mr. Pope Hennessy was relieved by 
Mr. Keate. 

The idea of a Fantee Confederation, for defence, was revived ; 
volunteers were organised ; and arms and ammunition were sent to 
a native contractor named Bentill, who had offered to raise 20,000 
men : but the tide of invasion was almost unchecked ; and on 
March 1st the victorious Ashantees occupied Yancomassie, only 
about five-and-twenty miles from Cape Coast Castle. The Fantee 
allies proved useless ; and as for the available regulars, all of them, 
and more, were needed for the defence of the coast settlements. 


On April llth a great but indecisive battle was fought between 
Dunquah and Yancomassie, and 40,000 Ashantees, under Amanquatia, 
received a slight check. On the 14th, there was another action, the 
result of which was that the Fantee allies, after committing some 
outrages, dispersed. It was vain to attempt any more righting in 
the field at that time. Cape Coast Castle, Annamaboe, and Elmina 
were garrisoned as well as might be by the aid of detachments from 
the Druid, 10, Captain William Hans Blake, Argus, 6, paddle, 
Commander Percy Putt Luxmoore, Merlin, 4, Lieutenant Edward 
Fitzgerald Day, Decoy, 4, Lieutenant John Hext, and Seagull, 3, 
Commander Ernest Augustus Travers Stubbs. Even then Colonel 
Harley had barely a thousand men with whom to defend the coast 

The news of the situation reached England in the middle of 
May ; whereupon the Government, instead of sending out at once 


a body of troops sufficiently large to permit of the offensive being 
assumed, contented itself with slightly reinforcing the West India 
and Houssa detachments in the colony, and with despatching 
thither 110 Eoyal Marines, 1 under Lieutenant-Colonel Francis 
Worgan Festing, while augmenting the small squadron on the 
coast by adding to it the Barracouta, 6, paddle, Captain Edmund 
Robert Fremantle. This craft reached Elmina on June 7th, when 
Fremantle became senior naval officer. 

In the meantime, the Ashantees, instead of making straight for 
Cape Coast Castle, had struck somewhat to their right, in the 
direction of Elmina, in and around which town they had many 
sympathisers ; and Atjempon, with 3000 fighting men, had proceeded 
further to the westward in order to attempt to raise the Apollonia 
tribes against the British. Had Coffee Calcallee pushed ahead 
from the beginning, things must have gone badly with the defence. 
1 With two mountain guns and 200 rocket?. 


It was quickly seen that the state of affairs at Elrnina was most 
dangerous. The suburb known as King's Town was furnishing the 
enemy with arms, stores, and information, and the local chiefs were 
disaffected. Harley ordered these last to come in and surrender 
their weapons. They did not obey; and it was determined to 
punish the Elmina rebels swiftly and severely. 

On the night of June 12th, Festing occupied the land side of 
Elmina with Marines, West India and Houssa troops, and volunteers 
to the number of 300. As many officers and men from the squadron 
were told off to co-operate; and the twenty-one boats containing 
them were all ready, inside the bar of the river, by daybreak on the 
13th. There were four paddle-box boats, each with a 20-pr. R.B.L. 
gun on a swivel mounting ; one cutter with a 7-pr. gun ; eight cutters 
with rocket-tubes ; two pinnaces also with rocket-tubes ; five whale 
boats ; and one jolly-boat, all posted opposite the hostile quarter of 
the town, above the bridge that led from the loyal quarter to the 
esplanade of the castle. The officers in command were Captain 
Fremantle, Lieutenant Hext, who was to lead, as he knew the river 
mouth well, and Lieutenants Lewis Fortescue Wells, William 
Marrack, Edmund George Bourke, and Gordon Charles Young. 

A final summons was addressed to the rebels, and delay was 
granted for the removal of their women and children. Then, at 
noon on June 13th, a bombardment of their town began both from 
the boats and from the castle. In ten minutes Elmina was 011 fire 
in several places, and the natives, leaving it, took to the bush, 
whither they were pursued by Festing, Fremantle, with most of the 
bluejackets, also landing to assist. While the boats continued to 
ply their guns and rockets, Hext and Young, with a very few men, 
and at considerable risk, went along the windward side of the native 
town with torches, and completed its destruction. 

Scarcely had the bluejackets and troops returned from the pursuit 
ere an attack was made upon the loyal part of the town by about 
600 Ashantees. A brisk engagement resulted ; but the Ashantees 
fired badly, and, though sometimes at very close range, succeeded in 
hitting only about half-a-dozen of the defenders, of whom three were 
killed. The enemy drew off towards 6 P.M., having lost very heavily. 
They carried away their wounded, but left behind them some 
hundreds of dead, and six prisoners. 

It was by that time evident that the Ashantee war was not to' be 
concluded without a serious effort ; for the Ashantees, while not 

1873.] THE AFFAIR AT CHAM AH. 253 

again attacking Elniina, lay around both that place and Cape Coast 
Castle, confined the British and their allies within a comparatively 
small tract beyond range of the guns of the ships and forts, and 
plainly awaited only what they should deem a good opportunity for 
sweeping the whites into the sea. Yet in England the situation was 
not grasped for some time ; and, in the interim, little more than 
purely defensive measures could be undertaken by the feeble forces 
on the spot. In those services the Navy proved very useful, 
especially on August 28th, at Aquidah, ten miles from Dixcove, 
where the Druid co-operated with the Dixcove natives in taking 
revenge upon their Aquidah cousins, who had attacked them 
without provocation. The corvette shelled the offending village, 
and then covered the successful attack of the native allies by 
sending in three of her boats. During this waiting period two 
strong outposts were formed inland, about six miles behind the two 
threatened towns. Fort Abbaye. to the rear of Elmina, and Fort 
Napoleon, to the rear of Cape Coast Castle, served as stations from 
which any movement of the enemy could be observed promptly, and 
whence information could be sent to the shore in such a manner as 
to prevent undue panic there. 

In August, when at length the home authorities were beginning 
to take a proper view of their difficulties, Commodore John Edmund 
Commerell, V.C., C.B., in the Rattlesnake, 17, Commander Noel 
Stephen Fox Digby, arrived on the scene ; and it was decided, 
pending the receipt of further military forces from England, to make 
a reconnaissance up the river Prah, which comes down from the 
Ashantee country, passes through or near the district then held by 
the right of the Ashantee army, and falls into the sea at Chamah, 
midway between Commenda and Secondee. It was supposed that 
011 an island in that river, which is navigable for about twenty-five 
miles inland, there was a large force of the enemy. It was an 
unfortunate and costly decision. 

On August 13th the Commodore went to Secondee, and at 9 A.M. 
on the following day quitted the Rattlesnake with the following 
boats manned and armed, viz., the steam-cutter of the Simoon, 1 
under Lieutenant Frederick Edwards, of the Rattlesnake, who had 
with him Navigating Sub-Lieutenant Peregrine William Pepperell 
Hutton ; the gig of the Rattlesnake, under Sub-Lieutenant Archibald 

1 The Simoon, troopship, Capt. Mountford Stephen Lovick Peile, which had arrived, 
lent her steamboat for the occasion. 


James Pocklington ; the Rattlesnake's whaler, under Surgeon Charles 
Frederick Kennan Murray, M.D. ; the colonial steam-launch, under 
Sub-Lieutenant Charles Henry Cross, of the Argus, and, towed by 
the latter, his own galley, in which were himself, Commander 
Luxmoore, and Captain William Helden, 1 civil commandant at 

Commerell landed unarmed at Chamah, and had what was 
deemed to be a friendly interview with the chiefs there, who, 
however, expressed a wish to be neutral in the quarrel, and who 
declined to allow two of their number to accompany the expedition. 
Soon afterwards the Rattlesnake anchored off Chamah, while the 
boats entered, the river, the colonial launch, however, breaking 
down almost immediately, and being left behind, with the gig to 
assist her. 

Supposing the Chamah people to be neutral, if not actively 
friendly, the Commodore ascended the stream on the Chamah side. 
The stream is seventy or eighty yards broad, and the banks are 
covered with dense brushwood. The boats had advanced about a 
mile and a half against a two-knot stream when, without the 
slightest warning, they were saluted with a most murderous fire 
from the Chamah bank, where an ambuscade had been prepared. 
The fire was returned, but the rockets could not be used, as they 
were in the Simoon s steam-cutter, which was then towing the two 
other boats. Commerell, Luxmoore, and Helden were severely hit 
at the first discharge, and a number of men were wounded. The 
boats were ordered into mid-stream, and, in view of the numerous 
casualties, were then directed to return to the Rattlesnake. 
Luxmoore behaved most pluckily. He continued to carry on, 
and no one save himself knew that he was wounded until he nearly 

At 6 P.M. the Rattlesnake was reached, and the injured people 
were transferred to her. On the way down Surgeon Murray not 
only attended to them, but also steered, and directed the fire of, the 

In the meantime another act of treachery had been perpetrated. 
It had been arranged that the fort at Chamah was to be occupied by 
ten policemen. A cutter, under Sub-Lieutenant William Pitt 
Draffen, took these men ashore from the Rattlesnake while the 
other boats were still up the river. After Draffen and the police 

1 2nd W.I. Regt. 


had landed, the cutter was swamped in the surf ; and while 
Midshipman Kichard Henry Francis Wharton Wilson l and the 
crew were endeavouring to right her, and to land the stores, they 
were fired into by the natives on the beach. Draffen, 2 who had 
remained at hand, coolly did all that was possible, by forming up 
the police, and throwing them out as skirmishers, to cover the 
people in the water ; and he certainly saved many lives ; but a 
seaman, a Krooman, and two Fantee policemen were killed, and 
several of the boat's crew were wounded. 

As soon as he saw what was happening on the beach, 
Commander Digby despatched further boats under Lieutenants 
Henry Holden Wilding and John Dundas Nicholls ; but, ere they 
reached the shore, the natives had made off to the bush. Upon the 
return of the boats from the river, the Rattlesnake was cleared for 
action, and the town of Chamah was bombarded and burnt. It was 
not, however, believed that the treacherous natives suffered heavily 
from the fire either of the boats or of the corvette. During the 
bombardment, the Merlin, 4, arrived on the scene. The Commodore 
at once sent her to Secondee with Sub-Lieutenant Edward Henry 
Bayly, of the Rattlesnake, who was ordered to take the place of the 
wounded Captain Helden as civil commandant there. Commerell 
subsequently himself proceeded to Secondee, whence he sent on the 
Merlin to communicate with Dixcove and Axim. Although severely 
wounded in the right side, he decided to endeavour to continue to 
exercise the command of the squadron. Word to that effect was 
carried to Cape Coast Castle by the Simoon's steam-cutter. On the 
14th, Commander Digby, and Assistant-Paymaster AVilliam Nichols 
Thomas, the Commodore's Secretary, held a palaver with such of the 
Secondee chiefs as could be induced to attend ; and on the 15th, 
the Argus having arrived that morning, the Rattlesnake weighed, 
and proceeded for Cape Coast Castle. In addition to the officers 
already named, Commerell mentioned Charles Godden, coxswain, 
and William Sermon, ordinary seaman, both of Lieutenant Wilding's 
party, who, he said, had " evinced great pluck." 

The total casualties in these two lamentable affairs amounted, on 
the British side, to 4 killed and 20 wounded. 3 

During August and the first half of September great preparations 
were made in England for the prosecution of the military part of 

1 Wounded. 2 Slightly wounded. 

3 Wilding to Commerell, Aug. 14 ; Commerell to Adrnlty., Aug. 15. 1873. 


the campaign ; and on September llth, Major-General Sir Garnet 
Joseph Wolseley, who had been selected to conduct it, embarked 
with his staff for Africa. On October 2nd he landed at Cape Coast 
Castle ; but he preceded the greater portion of the force which was 
to be employed under him. Nevertheless he began work without 
delay, and set to work at once to clear the enemy from the 
neighbourhood of Elmina. 

Commerell, greatly to his disgust, had been obliged to relinquish 
active command, 1 his wound at length vanquishing his will ; and 
Fremantle was left senior naval officer upon the coast. The first 
operation undertaken owed much of its success to the Navy, for, 
except officers, the only white people taking part in it were 22 
bluejackets and 1 Marine, with a 7-pr. gun, from the Barracouta, 
158 Eoyal Marine Artillery and Light Infantry, from the Simoon ; 
38 seamen and 19 Marines from the Argus ; and 15 seamen and 10 
Marines from the Decoy. The total force landed from the ships, 
including 19 Kroomen, and 17 officers, numbered 299, the officers 
being : 

Captain Fremantle, Lieutenant Thomas Edward Maxwell, Staff-Surgeon Francis 
Hamilton Moore, and Assistant-Paymaster Edmund Hickson (Barracouta) ; Captain 
John Frederick Crease, K.M.A., Captain William Winkworth Allnutt, R.M., Lieutenant 
Thomas Moore, E.M.A., Lieutenant Montague Philip Hall Gray, R.M., and Surgeon 
Archibald Adams, M.U. (Simoon) ; Commander Luxmoore, Lieutenants Gordon Charles 
Young, and John Leslie Burr, Sub-Lieutenant Edward John Sanderson, and Staff- 
Surgeon Leonard Lucas (Argus) ; and Lieutenant John Hext, Boatswain William 
Jinks, and Surgeon James William Fisher, M.D. (Decoy). 

Some miles in rear of Elmina was an Ashantee camp at 
Mampon. To the westward of Elmina, and along the coast 
between it and Commenda, were the disaffected villages of 
Amquana, Akimfoo, and Ampanee ; and between these villages and 
Mampon was the town of Essaman, which the Ashantees held. 
The ships 2 left Cape Coast Castle on the night of October 13th, 
ostensibly for the eastward, a baseless rumour having been 
intentionally allowed to circulate to the effect that Commander 
John Hawley Glover, E.N. 3 (retired), Official Administrator of 
Lagos, who was raising native forces for an expedition up the 
Volta, was in difficulties at Ada, at the mouth of that river. 
Instead of going eastward, the ships steamed westward ; and at 

1 He left for the Cape on Aug. 22. 

2 Barracouta and Decoy. Argus was already to the westward. 

? Born 1825; Com. 1862; retd. 1870: G.C.M.G. 1874; later Govr. of Newfound- 
land and of Leeward Islands; died 1885. 


3 A.M. on the 14th disembarked the major part of the intended 
landing force at Elmina, the Decoy and Argus then proceeding, and 
anchoring off the coral reef in front of Akimfoo and Ampanee, while 
the Barracouta's steam-launch and the Argus's paddle-box boats 
placed themselves inside the reef. Meantime, the land forces, 
including the main part of the Naval Brigade, marched from 
Elmina, and at 7 A.M. on the 14th approached Essaman. 

The enemy was on the alert, and opened fire. Though the 
Ashantees were completely concealed in the bush, the fire was 
returned ; and the party pressed on, the gun and rocket-trough being 
quickly placed in position within 200 yards of the place. By 8.30, 
after some sharp fighting, the enemy retired, and Essamaii was 
taken. It was promptly burnt. From Essaman the column 
marched six miles to Amquana, which was taken and set on fire. 
Most of the Marines were left there temporarily, and the rest of 
the force proceeded four miles along the shore to Akimfoo, where, 
at 3 P.M., it was joined by the landing-parties from the Argus and 
Decoy, which vessels had been engaged during the day in shelling 
Akimfoo and Ampanee. Both villages were found to be deserted, 
and were destroyed ; but, upon leaving Ampanee, the party was 
attacked by an ambushed force of the enemy, and while the Naval 
Brigade was being re-embarked, a further attack was made upon it, 
the West India troops, 1 however, driving the Ashantees back. 

This day's work went far towards securing the safety of Elmina 
and Cape Coast Castle, and, indeed, it caused the whole of the 
Ashantee army to fall back several miles ; but it was not carried out 
without some loss. Fremantle was wounded severely ; four other 
people from the ships were injured, and on the side of the land 
forces there were 21 casualties. 2 

Although nothing like a general advance could yet be attempted, 
owing to the non-arrival of troops from England, the Navy did not 
cease to be engaged almost continuously up and down the coast. 
On one occasion a party from the Argus landed at Tacorady to 
destroy some canoes, but had to retire with a loss of 12 wounded, 
including Lieutenant Gordon Charles Young, who commanded it. 
Brief bombardments of the unfriendly coast villages occurred 
frequently. On October 28th, Bootry, three miles east of Dixcove, 

1 Two hundred of these were with the column. 

2 Wolseley to Sec. for War; Wolseley to Col. Sec., both of Oct. 15; Fremantle in 
Gazette of Nov. 11. 



was shelled by the Argus and Decoy, and was then burnt by a 
landing-party under Lieutenants J. Hext and G. C. Young. There 
were no casualties. 1 

At about the same time Sir Garnet Wolseley undertook another 
short inland expedition with the object of endeavouring to break up 
a detached Ashantee force which, he had reason to believe, was near 
Dunquah, some miles on the main route between Cape Coast Castle 
and the interior, via Mansu. He sent a small military force from 
Cape Coast Castle to Dunquah on October 25-26th, and on the 26th 
another force marched out of Elmina, which was garrisoned in its 
absence by a party from the Druid, while a third force, with which 
were Sir Garnet and a detachment of bluejackets and Marines 2 
from the squadron, moved out to Assay boo in support. At Assay boo 
some Houssas and native levies were picked up, and thence an 
advance was made to Abrakrampa, where more native troops were 
found, some of these being under Lieutenant George Northrnore 
Arthur Pollard, B.N. ; but in such fighting as occurred on October 
27th and 28th near Dunquah the Brigade had little share. After 
that fighting, Lieutenant Wells, with 50 men, was left to form part 
of the garrison of Abrakrampa, and the rest of the landed force 
returned to Cape Coast Castle. 3 

On November 5th, Abrakrampa, where Major Baker C. Russell 
commanded, was attacked by the enemy in force, just as Lieutenant 
Wells, with his seamen and Marines, was about to set out on his 
return to Assayboo and the coast. The firing was heavy, and the 
little garrison, though well entrenched, was for a time hard pressed. 
News of its precarious situation reached Wolseley at 2 A.M. on the 
6th, and he appealed at once to Fremantle for a landing force 
wherewith to attempt a relief. The Navy, of course, responded 
with cordiality, every man who could be spared being put promptly 
ashore, and the Brigade, 4 with Wolseley and Fremantle accom- 

1 Luxmoore to Fremantle, Oct. 28. 

2 Under Captain Fremantle : from the Barracouta, 64 men under Lieut. Lewis 
Fortescue Wells ; from the Simoon, 66 men under Capt. Mountford Stephen Lovick 
Peile, and 101 Marines under Capt. William Winkworth Alluutt, R.M. ; and from the 
Bittern, 3, t\vin-scr., 34 men under Com. Prescot William Stephens ; besides 48 
Kroomen. Owing to lack of Marine officers, Lieut. Horatio Fraser Kemble (Bittern), 
and Sub-Lieut. Francis Avenell Brookes (Bamcouta) did duty as such. Capt. Allnutt 
breaking down on the march, Capt. Crease, 1I.M.A., took his place. 

3 Gazette, Nov. 25, 1873. 

* Three hundred and twenty-five officers and men from the Sarracouta, Simoon, 
Beacon, Bittern, and Encounter. 


panying it, marching inland soon after 7 A.M., together with some 
Houssa artillery and miscellaneous troops. The march was most 
exhausting. At Assayboo, 100 bluejackets and Marines were left, 
but at Accroful a detachment of the 2nd West India Kegiinent was 
added to the expedition, which pushed on, and reached Abrakrampa 
at 6.30 P.M., while fighting was still in progress. It soon, however, 
ceased. This march, and a demonstration made on the following 
morning by some cowardly native levies, caused a regular panic 
among the Ashantees, who retired hastily, abandoning many stores, 
and, indeed, almost everything except, as Wolseley put it, " the 
actual weapons in the hands of the fighting men." In these 
operations no white man was wounded, though many suffered 
terribly from the heat. Thenceforward the enemy stood almost 
exclusively on the defensive, and soon recrossed the Prah, retiring 
on Coomassie. Its retreat was hastened by Colonel Evelyn Wood, 1 
who, however, experienced a check on November 27th at Faysowah, 
on the road between Mansu and Prahsu; whereupon a small 
naval contingent,' 2 which afterwards became the nucleus of the 
Naval Brigade in the general advance, was despatched to reinforce 
him at Sutah. 

On November 14th, Fremantle was superseded as senior naval 
officer, Commodore William Nathan Wrighte Hewett, V.C., who 
had succeeded Commerell, arriving in the Active, 10, screw, Com- 
mander Robert Lowther Byng. Fremantle had done so well that 
Wolseley paid him the compliment of saying that, but for him, the 
operations leading to the retreat of the Ashantees could not have 
been carried out. This was, no doubt, perfectly true ; but Wolseley's 
praise of Fremantle was constructive censure of the authorities at 
home, who, for nearly a year after the commencement of hostilities, 
had left the colonies without white troops, and who had thus 
obliged the Navy to undertake work for which it was never intended. 
When, at the end of the year 1873, troops in plenty arrived on the 
scene, the Naval Brigade might well have been released from further 
service ashore. It continued, however, to be employed, and although 
its unnecessary employment was economically unsound, the Brigade, 
by its gallant and cheerful behaviour, gained further laurels, which, 
perhaps, even the bitterest critics of the administration would have 
been sorry to see it shut out from. 

1 Later Gen. Sir Evelyn Wood. He had begun his career in the Navy. See 
Vol. VI. 435. 2 Three officers and fifty men. 

s 2 


In December, 1873, the troopships Himalaya, Captain William 
Burley Grant, and Tamar, Captain Walter James Hunt-Grubbe, 
and the hired transport Sarmatian, arrived off the coast with the 
42nd Highlanders, the 2nd battalion of the Rifle Brigade, and the 
23rd Regiment, but were sent to sea again until all was ready for 
the advance. Other troops also, and Royal Marines, went out. On 
December 26th Wolseley left Cape Coast Castle for Prahsu ; on the 
27th, a new Naval Brigade landed, and marched up to Prahsu, which 
it reached on January 3rd ; and on January 1st the troops were 

Almost at the last moment before the general advance was 
begun a somewhat amusing affair occurred to the westward. The 
Commenda natives, burning to prove their loyalty by attacking 
Chamah, begged the British to convey a body of them across the 
mouth of the Prah. The Encounter, 14, Captain Richard Brad- 
shaw, and Merlin, 4, Lieutenant Edward FitzGerald Day, accord- 
ingly transported 635 natives to the west bank of the Prah on 
December 24th. A day later the valiant natives, who were like to 
have been annihilated by the Chamah people, were glad enough to 
be ferried back again. On the 26th, Bradshaw, before returning 
to Cape Coast Castle, bombarded and burnt a village on Alboaddi 
Point, where the Chamah natives had congregated. The three 
boats concerned in this affair were respectively commanded by 
Lieutenant Day (Merlin), and Lieutenants Edward Seymour Evans, 
and Alfred Churchill Loveridge (Encounter). 1 Ere the loyal natives 
were removed, they succeeded in burning Chamah, and in capturing 
about 50 canoes. 

During the final advance, the chief difficulties which the Naval 
Brigade had to contend with were natural ones ; and it was not until 
the last five or six days of the campaign that it took part in any 
serious fighting. It was the first European part of the expedition 
to cross the Prah, which it passed on January 20th. The force, 
which was about 500 strong, was commanded by Commodore 

On January 29th, there being a hostile force under the King of 
Adansi on the left flank of the British advance, Borumassie was 
captured, and the enemy driven out of it. A much more important 
battle was fought on January 31st, at and around Amoaful, on the 
main line of the advance. Says Hewett : 

1 Hewett, of Dec. 26 ; Bradshaw, of Dec. 24 and Dec. 2G. 


" Without attempting to give the details of the General's plan of operations, I will 
endeavour to afford such particulars as will enable their Lordships to gain some idea of 
the position occupied by the Naval Brigade during the engagement. The first 
encounter took place at 8 A.M., when the village of Egginnassie, about a mile from 
Araoaful, was carried by a rush of the scouts under Lord Gifford. The Naval Brigade 
was divided into two wings, one, under Captain Walter James H. Grubbe, of her 
Majesty's ship Tamar, being attached to the left column, and the other, under Acting- 
Captain Percy P. Luxmoore, of her Majesty's ship Druid, 1 to the right. On the 
advance being made, the right and left columns were ordered to cut paths at right 
angles to the main road for a distance of 300 yards into the bush and then to form 
upon the flanks of the 42nd llegiment, who, in the front column, were making their 
way through the thick bush on either side of the road. The enemy's centre was at 
Amoaful, and, throwing out two columns towards us in a diagonal direction, they 
formed, as it were, a broad arrow with the main path, in which order they received our 
attack. After suffering very heavy losses, the 42nd Highlanders eventually captured 
the town at 1.45 P.M. I have great pleasure in acquainting their Lordships with the 
steady behaviour of the Naval Brigade. During a very trying time they showed the 
greatest coolness, and, advancing slowly under a continuous and heavy fire, steadily 
drove back the enemy until 3 o'clock, when they forced them to make a precipitate 
retreat, and the day was ours." 2 

On February 1st, the Brigade was sent on to Becquah, three 
miles beyond Amoaful, where a large force of Ashantees was 
attacked, and driven back with considerable loss. 

The naval casualties during these three days were as follows : 

At Borumassie, Jan. 29th : two seamen of the Active, and one seaman and one 
Marine of the Argus wounded. 

At Amoaful, Jan. 31st: Capt. HumVGrubbe (Tamar), Lieut. Angus MacLeod 
(Barracouta), Actg.-Lieut. Gerald Elvers Maltby, and Sub-Lieuts. Robert 
Leyborne Mundy, and Wyatt llawson (Active), and Mids. Charles Goodhart 
May (Amethyst), wounded. Petty officers, seamen, and Marines, twenty 
wounded (Active, Druid, Amethyst, and Argus"). 

At Becquah, Feb. 1st : one seaman killed (Active), and threa petty officers and 
seamen wounded (Active). 

On February 4th, there was further fighting at Ordah-su, where 
the Naval Brigade had an officer 3 and four men wounded ; and in 
the afternoon of that day the army entered Coomassie, which Sir 
Garnet Wolseley, on the 6th, ordered to be burnt. A few days 
afterwards, Commander Glover, who had advanced by way of Akim, 
from the Volta, joined hands with the main force. On his way, on 
January 16th, he had captured the town of Obogo 'just in time to 
save the lives of 40 slaves who were to have been sacrificed that day 
at the funeral of a local chief. On February 13th peace was 

1 Capt. Wrn. Hans Blake died of dysentery on Jan. 22, 1874. Com. Luxmoore 
had taken his place upon his being invalided. 

2 Hewett, of Feb. 2. See also Hunt-Grubbe, of Feb. 18, and Luxmoore, of Feb. 7. 
8 Lieut. Adolphus Brett Crosbie, E.M.L.I. (Active). 


Among the officers favourably mentioned in the despatches of 
Wolseley and Hewett, or in their enclosures, were : 

Lieutenant Ernest Neville Rolfe, Naval A.d.C. to the Commander-in-Chief, 
Captains Hunt-Grubbe, Richard Bradshaw (Encounter), Alfred John Chatfteld 
(Amethyst), and George Henry Parkin (Victor Emmanuel}; Commanders John 
Hawley Glover (retd.), Thomas Henry Larcom, Percy Putt Luxmoore, Herbert 
Franklyn Crohan, John Hext (actg.), and Robert Lowther Byng ; Lieutenants Robert 
Beaumont Pipon, Edward FitzGerald Day, Gerard Henry Uctred Noel, George Henry 
Moore, Gerald Rivers Maltby, William Frederick Stanley Mann, and Angus MacLeod ; 
Sub-Lieutenants Henry Ponsonby, Henry Horace Adamson (retd.), Wyatt Rawson, and 
Harry Seawell Frank Niblett ; Navigating-Lieutenant Hugh Halliday Hannay ; 
Captain (R.M.) James William Vaughan Arbuckle ; Lieutenant (R.M.) Adolphus 
Brett Crosbie ; Midshipman Charles Elsden Gladstone ; Gunner Thomas Co\vd ; StafT- 
Surgeons Ahmuty Irwin, James William Fisher, John Watt Reid (2), and William 
James Hamilton; Surgeons Henry Fegan, Henry Thompson Cox, and Walter Reid; 
and Assistant-Surgeon James McCarthy. 1 

In addition to numerous promotions for services in the campaign, 
the following honours to naval officers were gazetted : 

To be K.C.B., Capt. John Edmund Commerell, V.C. ; Capt. William Nathan 

Wrighte Hewett, V.C. 
To be C.B., Capt. Walter James Hunt-Grubbe; Capt. Hon. Edmund Robert 

Fremantle ; Capt. Percy Putt Luxmoore ; Dept. Insp. of Hosps. Ahmuty 

Irwin; Staff-Surg. Henry Fegan; and Col. Sir Francis Worgan Festing, 


To be K.C.M.G., Col. Francis Worgan Festing, C.B., R.M.A. 
To be C.M.G., Capt. Hon. Edmund Robert Fremantle, C.B. 

Her Majesty's ships which were concerned from first to last in the 
campaign, and their commanding officers (where these have not 
been already named) , were : 

Active, Amethyst, Argus, Barracoitta, Beacon (Com. Hamilton Dunlop), Bittern, 
Coquette (Lieut. Edward Downes Law, and later Lieut. William Eveleigh Darwall), 
Decoy, Dromedary (Nav.-Lieut. William Wallis Vine), Druid. Encounter, Himalaya, 
Merlin, Rattlesnake, Seagull, Simoon, Tamar, and Victor Emmanuel. 

On April 23rd, 1874, the Queen graciously inspected the Ashantee 
Naval Brigade, and the Eoyal Marines who had been sent to Africa. 
The Barracouta's and Simoons officers did not, unfortunately, arrive 
in time to be present ; but in the grounds of the Eoyal Clarence 
Victualling Yard, Gosport, there were 61 naval officers and seamen, 
11 officers and 209 men of the Eoyal Marine Light Infantry, and 8 
officers and 104 men of the Eoyal Marine Artillery. 

At about this time much success attended British efforts to 
repress the slave-trade, especially on the east coast of Africa. 

1 Glover, of Feb. 25; Hewett, of Mar. 3; Ilunt-Grubbe, of Feb. 19; Hewett, of 
Mar. 4, 1874. 


On March 13th, 1874, the Daphne, 5, screw, Commander Charles 
Edward Foot, made prize, off Madagascar, of one of the finest slave- 
dhows ever taken in those seas, a vessel of upwards of 200 tons' 
burden, with 230 slaves and forty other people on board. She had 
then been eight days at sea, and had already lost thirty slaves. 
Unfortunately, owing to the unwillingness of the acting agent of 
the Union Steamship Company at Mozambique to incur the respon- 
sibility of taking over, and giving a receipt for the captives, Foot, 
after carrying them thither, was obliged to proceed with them to 
Zanzibar ; and on the way he encountered a cyclone, the results of 
which, and the insanitary nature of the surroundings, cost the loss 
of about forty more of the poor wretches ere the survivors could be 
landed. 1 The affair naturally made some stir at the time, it being 
at first believed that Commander Foot was to blame for the terrible 
mortality, or that it was in consequence of orders from the Com- 
mander-in-Chief in the East Indies that the slaves could not be 
landed earlier. 

In April, 1874, Captain George Lydiard Sulivan, who was 
selected on account of his wide experience in dealing with the 
slave trade, was appointed to the London, storeship at Zanzibar. 
During his period of command 2 he displayed great and ceaseless 
activity ; and no fewer than 39 dhows were captured by the boats 
of the ship between October, 1874, and April, 1876. He was also 
instrumental in quelling a dangerous native insurrection which, at 
the end of 1874, broke out at Mombasa, about 140 miles north of 

Mombasa, or Mombas, which was visited by Vasco da Gama, 
was for many years a station of the Portuguese, who built there a 
fort called Mozambique in 1594, and a citadel in 1635. The 
Portuguese were, however, expelled by the Imaum of Oman in 1698 ; 
and soon afterwards the town passed into the possession of the 
Mazara family, which placed it under British protection in 1823. 
The British soon abandoned it ; whereupon, after much fighting, 
it was secured, in 1834, by Sayyid Said, of Zanzibar. The outbreak 
of 1874 was the work of a rebel named Abdallah, who, with about 
400 fighting men, seized the Portuguese fort, provisioned it for a 
year, and set himself up as independent. Early in January, 1875, he 

1 A. and N. Gazette, May 16, June G, July 18, 1874. 

2 He was superseded on Sept. 27, 1875, by Capt. Thomas Baker Martin Sulivan, 
who was also very active. 


attacked the Sultan's people and burnt the town of Mombasa ; and 
the Sultan, while preparing to send a force of his own to the scene 
of trouble, asked for British assistance. 

Captain Sulivan, with 100 of his bluejackets and Marines, and 
accompanied by the British Consul, Captain W. F. Prideaux, of 
the Indian army, proceeded northward at once in the screw 
surveying vessel Nassau, 4, Lieutenant Francis John Grey. The 
Rifleman, 4, Commander Stratford Tuke, also went to the spot, and 
on January 19th, 1875, the vessels and their boats, after a five 
hours' bombardment, drove out the rebels, who lost 17 killed and 
51 wounded, and occupied the fort, subsequently handing it over 
to the Sultan's representatives. The British suffered no casualties. 

In the following November, some of the London's people, and 
five of her boats, under Lieutenant William Martin Annesley, were 
engaged at Tangata, where ' two hostile villages were taken and 
burnt. 1 

Another vessel which, at about the same period, and on the 
same station, was most useful in the repression of the slave trade 
was the screw corvette Thetis, 14, Captain Thomas Le Hunte 
Ward. During her commission, 1873-77, her boats were repeatedly 
employed, especially in river work, on the east coast of Africa ; and 
on one occasion they came into collision with the natives of 
Madagascar. The Flying Fish, 4, Commander Herbert Franklyn 
Crohan, was also active and successful. The supply of steam-boats, 
in addition to pulling and sailing boats, for use by men-of-war was 
then a novelty. It greatly increased the utility of such cruisers as 
were provided with the new craft, and led to the capture of 
numerous dhows which otherwise must have escaped. 2 

On July -2nd, 1874, the sailing schooner Sandfly, I, Lieutenant 
William Henry George Nowell, cleared Sydney Heads for a cruise 

1 A daring act of bravery was related by the Zanzibar correspondent of the Western 
Morning News. Richard Trigger, captain of the London's launch, and two blue- 
jackets named Quint and " Hope," were cruising in Captain Sulivan's yacht Victoria, 
off Pemba, when they saw a dhow becalmed about seven miles away. With an inter- 
preter, they manned their dingy, and, after a two hours' pull, reached the dhow. There 
was some opposition ; but Trigger, with his cutlass between his teeth, boarded over the 
bows. He and his comrades, seeing that the craft was full of slaves, knocked down 
and tied up the Arab master, put him into the dingy, made sail on the dhow, and, with 
the dingy in tow, fetched back to the Victoria. The dhow was eventually condemned 
at Zanzibar. This was in 1875. I believe that these men were Richard Harris Trigger 
(Boatswain, Sept. 30, 1876), Stephen Quint (Gunner, July 26, 1883), and Stephen 
Hopes (Gunner, Sept. 10, 1881). 

2 Western Daily Mercury. Zanzibar letter of July 2, 1875. 


among the Pacific islands. Nothing of importance befell her until 
she reached Tapoua, or Edgecumbe Island, one of the Santa Cruz 
group, where the natives, at first very friendly, made a sudden and 
unprovoked attack upon the vessel on September 17th. They were 
then fired at and dispersed, twenty of their canoes were destroyed, 
and two of their villages were burnt. On September 20th, the 
schooner anchored off Nitendi, or Santa Cruz Island. Armed 
canoes quickly put out, and presently a general attack was made 
upon the Sand fly, many of the natives having previously climbed 
on board. Something like a hand- to-hand fight took place ere the 
assailants, who lost about thirty men, were driven off. Nowell then 
lowered his boats, destroyed as many abandoned canoes as he could 
lay hands on, and burnt two villages. On the 21st and 22nd the 
parties sent ashore for water had to be covered by rifle-fire, and a 
couple of shells were thrown into the bush. On the 23rd, the 
natives were again dispersed. These collisions were the cause of 
the visit which Commodore Goodenough paid to the island nearly 
a year later, and which had so fatal a result. In the course of the 
cruise, the Sandfly also called at Api, or Tasiko Island, in the New 
Hebrides, where she shelled a village by way of punishing certain 
natives who, some time before, had murdered and eaten a boat's 
crew belonging to a vessel named the Zephyr, She returned to 
Port Jackson on December 10th, 1874. 

On May 22nd, 1873, Captain James Graham Goodenough had 
been appointed to the Pearl, 17, as Commodore on the Australian 
station ; and in the following August he arrived at Sydney. After 
having taken part in the inquiries which preceded the annexation of 
the Fiji Islands in October, 1874, he conveyed Sir Arthur Hamilton 
Gordon, 2 as Governor, to Levuka, and then sailed for a cruise to 
the New Hebrides and Santa Cruz groups. He visited Ambrym, 
Mallicolo, Saint Bartholomew, Espiritu Santo, and Vanikoro. On 
August 12th, 1875, accompanied by some officers and men, the 
Commodore landed in Carlisle Bay, Santa Cruz Island, his intention 
being to conciliate the natives, and to open friendly intercourse with 
them. The people assembled on the beach, showed no signs of 
hostility, and were ready to barter. They even received Goode- 
nough in their village, and allowed him to mix freely with them. 
But, as the party was re-embarking, a man discharged a poisoned 
arrow, which struck the Commodore in the left side ; and, before the 

1 Sydney Empire, Dec. 11, 1874. 2 1st Baron Stanmore, 1893. 


British could get to their arms, several flights of arrows were fired 
at them, and six people were wounded, 1 Goodenough also being 
again hit, though slightly. On returning to the ship the Commodore 
resolved to punish the act of treachery by burning the village which 
had been the scene of the attack ; and he therefore sent in four 
boats for the purpose ; but he expressly ordered that no life should 
be taken. He might, with reason, have been much more severe, for, 


(From the bust bij Adm. Count GJeicJien.) 
[By permission of the Lords of the Admiralty.] 

as has been noted, the Sandfly had been attacked at the same 
place in the. previous September. Moreover, he had more than a 
suspicion that the wounds had been inflicted with poisoned arrows, 
and would prove fatal. Unhappily, they did so, in three cases out of 
seven. A seaman died on August 19th, Goodenough himself on the 
20th, and another seaman on the 21st. The Pearl returned to Sydney 

1 Including Sub-Lieut. Henry Colley Hawker. 


on the 23rd with the Commodore's body, which was publicly buried 
on the 24th at St. Leonard's cemetery in the presence of thousands 
of people, and of officers, seamen and Marines, from the Pearl and 
Sappho. Goodenough's grave lies near that of the eminent surveyor 
and Arctic navigator, Captain Owen Stanley, who died in 1850. 
That officer's brother, Dean Stanley, in a sermon at Westminster 
Abbey on November 1st, 1875, spoke of the Commodore as " one of 
England's best seamen, a man tender as he was brave, a man of 
science, full of the highest aspirations, fit for any great work such 
a one as no nation can afford to lose lightly." It is a strange 
coincidence that Goodenough's last public act in New South Wales 
was to unveil at Eandwick a statue of Captain James Cook (1), an 
officer who, besides having many characteristics in common with 
him, met death in almost exactly the same way at the hands of 
savages who attacked without provocation. 1 Goodenough had re- 
ceived the C.M.G. in .1874, and the C.B. in 1875. 

In November, 1873, Sir H. St. George Ord, C.B., had been 
succeeded as Governor of the Straits' Settlements by that dis- 
tinguished administrator, General Sir Andrew Clarke, K. C.M.G. 
Up to that date the relations between the British authorities and 
the various native states of the Malay peninsula had been generally 
unsatisfactory. It is true that these relations had been regulated 
by treaties, as, for example, those of 1818 and 1826 with Perak, 
and those of 1818 and 1825 with Selangor ; but frequent civil wars, 
chronic piracy, the tyranny, weakness, and self-indulgence of the 
local princes, and the numerous disputes between the dominant 
chiefs and the Chinese settlers within their territories prevented the 
development of the country, especially on the west coast, crippled 
trade, and gave perpetual cause for active British intervention. 
The new Governor might have found plenty of excuse for conquering 
and annexing the more troublesome provinces. Instead, he set 
about thoroughly mastering the origin and history of the disorders 
which prevailed among his semi-civilised neighbours, and then, 
while maintaining a firm and inflexible attitude with regard to 
piracy, embarked upon a policy of attempting to arrange all diffi- 
culties by pacific methods, and of endeavouring to induce the chiefs 
to accept British counsel and assistance in the management of their 
affairs. The work which he thus mapped out for himself was of a 

1 C. R. Markham: 'Commodore J. Or. Goodenough.' Goodenough to Admiralty, 
Aug. 19th, 1875. 


very laborious nature, and for a time the results were disappointing ; 
but the outcome of Clarke's wise and far-sighted action was 
ultimately the addition to the British Empire of a number of 
protected states which, while retaining much of their independence, 
submitted contentedly to British methods of government, and 
became valuable outworks of civilisation instead of irritating centres 
of turbulence along its borders. 

As early as January 20th, 1874, Sir Andrew concluded with 
Perak a treaty in virtue of which the Raja Muda was recognised 
as Sultan of that long distracted country, and a resident and an 
assistant-resident were appointed to aid him in preserving order in 
his state. Later in the same year residents were also appointed to 
Selangor and Sungei Ujong. Even that measure of success, how- 
ever, was not secured until the imagination of the chiefs had been 
stimulated by naval demonstrations, which, owing to the fortuitous 
presence in that part of the station of Vice-Admiral Charles 
Frederick Alexander Shadwell and a considerable part of the 
China command, could, when desirable, be carried out upon an 
impressive scale. 

The coast of Perak at that time swarmed with pirates ; and on 
the night of December llth, 1873, the Avon, 4, Commander John 
Conyngham Patterson, 1 being near the Bindings, was so fortunate 
as to come upon three trading craft at the moment when they were 
being attacked by six boats full of these cut-throats. She fired upon 
the scoundrels, and drove them off with loss, but did not succeed in 
capturing any of them at the time. Proceeding in January, how- 
ever, to Silemseng, near the mouth of the Larut river, and taking 
with him the armed steamer Joliorc, Sub-Lieutenant Charles 
Skelton Nicholson, Patterson, who had satisfied himself as to the 
complicity of some of the local people, enforced the surrender of a 
number of junks, many men, and a quantity of arms, and burnt 
some houses. 2 This action sufficed to convince the people of Perak 
that the British were in earnest. To convince the other states, 
more imposing action was employed. 

Previous to the inception of negotiations with Selangor, it was 
deemed necessary to induce the Sultan of that state to promise to 
make reparation for certain serious piratical acts which, not long 

1 Patterson had retired with the rank of captain Oct. 1, 1873, but remained in 
command pending the arrival of his successor. 

2 Patterson to Woollcombe, Dec. 13, 1873 ; Jan. 21, 1874. 


before, had been committed by some of his subjects to the prejudice 
of British residents at Malacca ; and, to attain the object in view, 
Vice-Admiral Shadwell himself appeared in his flagship, the Iron 
Duke, Captain William Arthur, off the mouth of the Klang and 
Langkat Bivers, where, by appointment, he met the Governor on 
February 6th, 1874. There were also assembled the Thalia, 6, 
Captain Henry Bedford Woollcombe ; Salamis, 2, dispatch-vessel, 
Lieutenant the Hon. Algernon Charles Littleton ; Rinaldo, 1, 
Commander George Parsons ; Frolic, 4, Commander Claude Edward 
Buckle ; Midge, 4, Commander John Frederick George Grant ; 
Avon, 4, Commander Arrnand Temple Powlett ; and the colonial 
steamer Pluto. Shadwell and Clarke went up the Klang river to 
Langkat on the 7th, and, on the three following days, effected a 
satisfactory arrangement with the Sultan of Selangor, who agreed 
upon measures for the punishment of the pirates, and assented to 
the destruction of certain stockades. Captain Woollcombe remained 
as senior officer, with the Thalia, Rinaldo, Midge, and Avon, and 
eventually occupied two stockades near the mouth of the Jugra 
river. These, after having been held for a fortnight, were burnt. 1 

Another focus of piratical activity was the Lingie river, between 
the British state of Malacca and the friendly native state of Sungei 
Ujong, where stockades had been erected under the alleged authority 
of the chief of Eumbow. At the beginning of May, 1874, Sir 
Andrew Clarke went to the Lingie river in the Charybdis, 17, 
Captain Thomas Edward Smith, accompanied by the Avon, 4, 
Commander Armand Temple Powlett, and the colonial steamer 
Pluto. The chief of liumbow made excuses for not attending a 
conference to which he had been invited, whereupon the Governor, 
on May 4th, gave his support to the chief, or Klana, of Sungei 
Ujong, who, without opposition, occupied the offending stockades at 
Bukit Tiga. They had been abandoned a few hours earlier. This 
action was of great commercial importance, as it reopened the 
Lingie river to the trade to and from the rich tin mines in the 

In the following September the Charybdis and Avon, together 
with the Hart, 4, Commander Thomas Harvey Koyse, took part in 
an expedition to the Indau river, a stream which runs into the sea 
on the east coast of the peninsula, and which forms the frontier 

1 All corresp. relating to these events is to be found in Command Paper 1111, 
of 1874. 


between Johore and Pahang. Sir Andrew Clarke's object in going 
thither was to compose some differences between the rulers of those 
two states. He was very successful. 

Soon afterwards serious disputes arose in Sungei Ujong between 
the Klana, or ruling chief, and the Bandar, a feudatory of great 
wealth and influence. As the former had already asked for a 
British resident to be sent to his court, and as the latter was 
intractable in spite of Sir Andrew Clarke's repeated efforts to 
persuade him to adopt reasonable courses, it was decided to support 
the Klana, who had been forced to begin hostilities on November 
16th, 1874. On November 24th, accordingly, Clarke proceeded to 
the mouth of the Lukut river in the Charybdis, with the Hart in 
company, and a small military force including men of the 10th 
Eegimeiit and of the Eoyal Artillery. On the 26th the troops 
were disembarked, together with a small Naval Brigade ' under 
Lieutenant John George Jones, Acting-Lieutenant Gerard Marma- 
duke Brooke, Lieutenant Eobert Evans Montgomery, E. M.L.I., 
Surgeon George Gibson, Gunner Edwin Bishop, and Midshipman 
Charles Brownlow Macdonald, and on the 27th began to march 
inland, 2 ten Marines under Montgomery being, however, left in 
charge at Lukut. Clarke in the meantime went on in the Hart to 
Langkat, in order to warn the Selangor authorities against affording 
assistance to the insurgents. 

The force which included the Naval Brigade had a most trying 
two days' march ere it arrived, on November 28th, within three 
miles of Campayang, the Bandar's headquarters, where a halt was 
called. A reconnaissance, however, brought on some firing, and the 
advance was resumed in consequence. As soon as the leading body, 
under Brooke, showed itself, it was fired at from the stockades. A 
rocket-tube was brought up; and after about half-an-hour's action, 
in the course of which Eobert Chambers, captain of the main-top, 
was fatally wounded, the enemy was nearly silenced. As darkness 
was falling the expedition withdrew for the night. On the following 
morning it was announced that Sir Andrew Clarke had sent up 
orders that the Bandar was to be given twenty-four hours in which 
to come to terms. On the 30th, no reply having been received from 
the rebel, the force again advanced, but discovered to its disgust 
that the place had been evacuated by the Malays, and occupied by 

1 Officers 6, seamen and Marines 67 : from the Charybdis. 
'* Smith to Shadwell, Nov. 26 ; Jones to Smith, Dec. 10, 1874. 


a number of Chinese coolies, who were already quarrelling over the 
loot, and who did not desist until about fifty of them had been 
killed. 1 The guns found were four of iron, about 12-prs., and two 
of brass, about 2-prs. Yet another gun, which had been captured 
from the British on some previous occasion, was recovered. The 
place was burnt. Parties were afterwards sent out in all directions 
to look for the Bandar ; but he could not be caught, and the Naval 
Brigade had to return empty-handed to the Charybdis, which was 
reached on January 10th, 1875. The chief surrendered later. 

Towards the middle of 1875 Governor Sir Andrew Clarke was 
succeeded by Sir W. F. D. Jervois. The affairs of the peninsula 
had settled down, and the general outlook was exceedingly 
encouraging when, on November 2nd, 1875, Mr. J. W. W. Birch, 
the resident in Perak, was murdered near Passir Sala, together 
with several of his attendants. Jervois at first mistook the outrage 
for one of a personal and isolated character, and ordered to the spot 
100 troops from Singapore, 60 from Penang, and armed police from 
various quarters. He also went thither himself. Upon arriving in 
the Perak Biver on November 8th, he learnt that on the 7th a small 
party, including a naval officer and four seamen 3 with a rocket-tube, 
had attacked the village in which Birch had been killed, and had 
been defeated with loss. Jervois then came to the conclusion that 
the disturbance was much more serious than he had at first 
supposed ; and he applied for reinforcements, naval and military. 

The only men-of-war on the spot were the Thistle, 4, Commander 
Francis Stirling, and the Fly, 4, Commander John Bruce, which 
went up the Perak Biver on the 8th with such few additional troops 
as by that time had been collected. From the China station were 
despatched the Modeste, 14, Captain Alexander Buller, the Egeria, 4, 
Commander Ralph Lancelot Turton, and the Ringdove, 3, Com- 
mander Uvedale Corbet Singleton, and, from the East India station, 
the Philomel, 3, Commander Edmund St. John Garforth. There 
being trouble in Sungei Ujong, a detachment from the Thistle was 
left in the Lingie and Lukut rivers when the gun-vessel herself 

1 Corr. of A. and N. Gazette, Feb. 20, 1875. 

2 Sub.-Lieut. Thomas Francis Abbott, of the Thistle, had been left at Banda 
Bahru, with four men, for instructional purposes. Stirling to Jervois, Oct. 16, 1875 ; 
Jervois to Carnarvon, Nov. 16, 1875. Abbott behaved admirably. Going up under 
fire from Banda Bahru to Passir Sala, upon hearing of the murder, he took charge of 
the residency, and entrenched himself on the island on which it was built. It was 
after this that he joined in the attack on the village. He was promd. Jan. 28, 1876. 


went to the northward. The Ringdove, upon her arrival, steamed 
up the Perak River to Durian S'batang, where she established a 
base ; and a small brigade from the Thistle and Fly, under Com- 
mander Stirling, 1 pressing on with some troops, made such rapid 
progress that, on November 15th, the force was able to attack the 
stronghold of the chief in whose district Birch had been assassinated. 
Four stockades and six guns were taken, without loss 011 the British 
side, the houses and villages of the offending people were destroyed, 
and the resident's papers and effects were recovered. 2 

The trouble in Sungei Ujong was soon quelled. The insurgent 
Malays were badly defeated on December 7th by a purely military 
force, and on December 22nd were again attacked and dispersed by 
a detachment which included 32 officers and men from the Thistle 
under Commander Stirling. 3 The later operations in that state 
were carried out without much further help from the Navy. 

In the meantime the chiefs responsible for the Perak outrage, 
and for the political movements with which it was connected, had 
withdrawn to the district on the upper reaches of the Perak Eiver ; 
and it was decided to attack them simultaneously from two directions, 
viz., by a force, under Major-General Sir Francis Colborne, moving 
up the Perak upon Blanja, and by another force under Brigadier- 
General J. Eoss, disembarked at Telok Kartang, near the mouth of 
the Larut Eiver, and moving overland thence eastward to Qualla 
Kangsa, on the Perak, afterwards, if necessary, advancing down the 
stream upon Blanja. While the movements were in preparation, 
the Thistle lay for a time in the Perak, near the point at which that 
river is joined by its north-east affluent, the Kinta ; and the Modeste, 
Fly, and Egeria blockaded the Perak littoral from the mouth of the 
Bernam to that of the Krean. The Egeria also sent her boats up 
the Kurow Eiver, and destroyed or carried off some guns, arms, and 
ammunition which might have been useful to the enemy/ 

1 Naval Brigade employed near Passir Sala on Nov. 14-1(5, 1875, under Commander 
Francis Stirling ( Thistle) : from Thistle, Lieut. Arthur Hill Ommanney Peter Lowe, 
Sub-Lieut. Thomas Francis Abbott, Boatswain Joseph Tyl er > and twenty-five- men ; 
from Fly, Commander John Bruce, Lieut. William Codrington Carnegie Forsyth, 
Sub-Lieut. Duncan Munro Ross, Surgeon Edward Thomas Lloyd, Boatswain George 
Vosper, and twenty-five men; with one 7-pr., two 12-pr. howitzers, one coehorn 
mortar, and two 24-pr. rocket-tubes. Stirling to Ryder, Nov. 16, 1875. 

2 Dunlop to Jervois, Nov. l(i, 1875. The Naval Brigade here employed was 
eighty-five strong. 

3 Jervois to Carnarvon, Dec. 28, 1875. 

4 Turton to Buller, Dec. 2, 1875. 



To Major-General Sir F. Colborne's advance up the Perak Eiver 
from Durian S'batang and Banda Bahru was attached a Naval 
Brigade from the Modeste, Ringdove, and Thistle, consisting of 10 
officers * and GO seamen. To Brig.-General Boss's advance across 
country from the mouth of the Larut to Qualla Kangsa was attached 
a Brigade from the Philomel, Modeste, and Ringdove, consisting of 
7 officers 2 and 98 seamen and Marines. 

Buller records that the advance from Banda Bahru was hegun 
on December 8th, and that Blanja was entered on the 13th, without 
opposition. The chiefs implicated in Mr. Birch's murder were 
reported to have fled eastward to Kinta, the capital. The Perak 
Field Force left 50 soldiers and 22 naval officers and men at Blanja, 
and started in pursuit on the 14th. Two miles out of Blanja 
opposition was met with, but the enemy was easily driven off. 
Later in the day a Malay stockade made a brief stand, but was 
evacuated upon a rocket-tube being brought into action. The 
Brigade halted for the night seven miles from Blanja, the advance 
having been intensely arduous, and, on the 15th moved forward six 
or seven miles further to Pappan. On the 16th the Brigade got 
within half a mile of Kinta, and, after some interchange of shot, 
entered it, the enemy fleeing up the Kinta Kiver, and abandoning 
nine brass guns. The fugitive chiefs escaped into Lower Siam. 

Garforth records that he landed his men at the mouth of the 
Larut Eiver on December llth and 13th, with a 24-pr. rocket-tube 
and a 7-pr. gun. He reached Qualla Kangsa without adventure. 

Brig.-General Boss lay for some days at Qualla Kangsa, and on 

January 4th, 1876, proceeded thence with a force, which included 

.32 officers and men of Garforth's Brigade, to inflict punishment 

upon the village of Kotah Lamah, three miles further up the Perak 

Eiver on the left bank. A detachment of the troops were un- 

1 Naval officers employed with the Perak Field Force, Dec. 1875 : from Modeste, 
Capt. Alexander Buller, senior naval officer, Straits' Division, Lieut. John Pakenham 
Pipon, Sub-Lieut. Walter Travers Warren, Gunuer John Grant, Mids. Mansfield 
George Smith, Surgeon Charles Cane Godding, and Asst.-Paymaster William Codgbrooke 
Gillies; from Ringdove, Coin. Uvedale Corbet Singleton, Nav. Sub-Lieut. Valentine 
David Hughes, and Surgeon Anthony Gorham. Buller to Admlty., Dec. 19th and 
29th, 1875. 

2 Naval officers employed with the Larut Field Force, Dec. 1875, Jan. 1876 : from 
Philomel, Com. Edmund St. John Garforth, Lieut. Robert Thomas Wood, Sub-Lieut. 
Richard Poore, and Surgeon Robert William Williams ; from Modeste, Lieut. Henry 
Townley Wright, Sub-Lieut. James Pipon Montgomery, and Mids. Thomas Philip 
Walker. Garforth to Ryder, Dec. 13, 1875. 


expectedly attacked by a concealed body of Malays, and, it was 
generally admitted, would have been cut to pieces, but for the 
extreme gallantry displayed by the seamen, who had been formed 
up as a guard for the Brig.-General. Lieutenant Wood, Sub- 
Lieutenant Poore, and seamen Henry Thompson, Henry Bonnet, 
and David Sloper gained special commendation for their bravery 
in this affair. 1 The naval casualties were two killed or mortally 

Stirling's share in the operations in Sungei Ujong was of a most 
creditable character, and his despatches single out for special 
mention Navigating Sub-Lieutenant Michael Stephens Beatty, and 
Assistant-Paymaster Thomas Foley Harrison, the latter of whom 
did duty as an executive officer. 2 

These operations, and a punitive attack made on a village near 
Blanja by a small force which included a naval detachment under 
Lieutenant Henry Townley Wright, of the Modeste, practically 
brought the brief campaign to a satisfactory conclusion, though for 
some time afterwards much unrest prevailed on the Perak Eiver. 
Ismail, the principal offending chief, surrendered at Penang on 
March 20th, 1876, and most of the other persons implicated also 
fell one by one into British hands. Garforth remained for 
some time in the neighbourhood of Qualla Kangsa, and, on 
February 4th, 1876, was slightly engaged at Bnggar, but suffered 
no casualties. 

Among the consequent rewards and promotions were the 
following : 

To be C.B. : Captain Alexander Buller, Mar. 25, 1876. 

To be Captains : Commanders Francis Stirling, Mar. 9, and Edmund St. John 

Garforth, Aug. 18, 1876. 

To be Commander: Lieutenant Henry Townley Wright, Mar. 9, 1876. 
To be Lieutenants : Sub-Lieutenants llichard Poore, and Walter Travers Warren, 
Mar. 9, 1876. 

In the autumn of 1875 a punitive expedition was once more sent 
up the river Congo. At the beginning of that year the trading 
schooner Geraldine had stranded while proceeding up the stream, 
and had been attacked and looted by native pirates, four of her 
people being killed while endeavouring to defend their ship. It 
having been determined to punish the marauders, the paddle-sloop 
Spiteful, 6, entered the river early in August to reconnoitre the 

1 Jervois to Carnarvon, Jan. 14, 1876, with enclosures : Garforth to Ryder. Jan. 6. 

2 Stirling to Buller, Dec. 21, 1875, and Jan. 7, 1876. 

T 2 


various creeks ; and on August 30th, the following vessels proceeded 
up the Congo : 



(Sir Wm. Nathan Wrighte Hewett, K.C.B., V.C., 

Active, scr. 


j Commod. 

(Com. Robert Lowther Byng. 

Encounter, scr. 


Capt. Richard Bradshavv. 

Spiteful, padd. 

1 6 

Com. Mervyn Bradford Medlycott. 

Merlin, scr. g.b. 


Lieut. Wollaston Comyns Karslake. 

Foam, scr. g.b. 


Lieut. Henry Chapman Walker. 

Ariel, scr. g.b. 


Lieut. Orford Churchill. 

Supply, st. ship. 

i 2 

Staff-Corn. Frank Inglis. 

At 6 A.M. on August 31st the boats of the Active, Encounter, and 
Spiteful left their ships, and were towed to the entrance of Change 
creek, four miles up which 150 Marines, under Captain Bradshaw, 
were disembarked. The party destroyed three villages, and, though 
it sighted no enemy, was fired at from the dense jungle, but had no 
casualties. On September '2nd, the gunboats and the boats of the 
larger vessels bombarded several villages on the northern bank. A 
detachment which was landed discovered in the houses some relics 
of the plundered merchantman. There was again firing from the 
jungle, but only one man was wounded. All the villages on the 
north bank, as far as Melilla creek, were destroyed. On the 3rd, 
other villages were bombarded ; and a force which was landed, burnt 
yet other villages, and marched to the town of the chief Arman- 
zanga, who had been marked out for severe punishment. In spite 
of dropping shots from the bush the place was taken and destroyed ; 
and Captain Bradshaw, 011 his way back to the creek, burnt addi- 
tional villages. On the 4th, the Encounter and Spiteful steamed 
further up the river and punished the natives in Luculla creek ; 
and the Merlin and other craft proceeded to Punta da Lenha, where 
Commodore Hewett summoned the local chief to give up the 
murderers of the Geraldine's people within forty-eight hours. 

No reply being vouchsafed, the place was attacked by a landing 
party on the 7th ; and, in spite of a brisk fire, it was taken and 
delivered to the flames. On the 8th, the boats returning down the 
north bank, a landing was effected under fire near Manoel Vacca's 
town, which was found to be deserted, and was razed to the ground. 
On the 10th, the smaller craft entered Sherwood creek, where two 
chiefs came off, and, visiting the Commodore, were assured that 


people who had behaved themselves would not be interfered with. 
On the llth Commander Medlycott, with the Spite/id's boats and 
a detachment of bluejackets and Marines, destroyed Polo Bolo, 
having one man wounded. On the 12th, the Commodore, with the 
three gunboats, ascended the river to Emboma, seventy-three miles 
from the mouth, and there, on the 15th, had an interview with 
seven kings or chiefs, who expressed satisfaction with the work 
which had been done, and hoped that, since the pirates had been so 
severely punished, the peaceful trade in the river would increase. 
Sir William Hewett returned on the 17th, and a few days afterwards 
the ships separated. 1 

The labours of the expedition were most arduous, some of the 
creeks being literally overgrown with luxuriant vegetation which 
had to be cut away to admit of an advance, and the country 
generally being difficult to a degree. The entire loss by the enemy's 
fire, however, was only one killed (a Portuguese guide), and six 
wounded (including Engineer Kobert Dixon, of the Ariel). Nor 
was there, at the time, much sickness. Later, however, the effects 
of the malarious climate showed themselves ; and among those who 
perished from the results of the brief campaign were Navigating 
Lieutenant Edmond Carter Smith, and Paymaster William Alfred 
Brown, both of the Encounter. Numerous officers were mentioned 
as having rendered conspicuous service, the list including Captain 
Bradshaw, Commander Medlycott, 2 Lieutenant Karslake ; 3 Lieu- 
tenant Adolphus Brett Crosbie, E.M., Lieutenant Thomas Peere 
Williams Nesham, Lieutenant Ernest Neville Kolfe, Fleet-Surgeon 
Henry Fegan, C.B., Paymaster William Alfred Brown, and Sub- 
Lieutenants Arthur Charles Middlemass 4 and Percy Moreton 
Scott. 4 

In these years there was much unrest along the shores of the 
Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. In 1873, Commander Kobert 
Moore Gillson, of the Eifleman, 4, had to land a party, under 
Sub-Lieutenant Harry George Grey, for the protection of the Indo- 
European Company's telegraph station at Gwadur, Baluchistan ; 
and in March, 1874, the fort of Masnaah, Gulf of Oman, was 
attacked and reduced by a naval force under Commander Edmund 
St. John Garforth, of the Philomel, 3, who was assisted by the 
Nimble, 5, Commander Henry Compton Best, and the Hugh Bose, 

1 Hewett's (lisps., and St. Helena Guardian. 2 Posted, Nov. 1, 1875. 

3 Com., Nov. 1, 1875. " Lieuts., Nov. 1, 1875. 


of the Bombay Marine, the last named having on board a party 
from the 'Rifleman to work her guns. In August, 1875, intervention 
again became necessary in consequence of a disturbance at Muscat. 

The reigning Sultan, Sayyid Turki, had occasion to visit 
Gwadur, which belonged to him, and, proceeding thither in the 
Rifleman, then commanded by Commander Francis Starkie Clayton, 
left Oman and Muscat in charge of his brother Abdul Ayuz. When, 
on August 25th, the Daphne, 5, Commander Charles Edward Foot, 
happened to call at Muscat, the place was found to be in possession 
of the Bedouins. The presence of the man-of-war, however, which 
despatched four of her boats to police the coast, prevented the 
commission of any outrages ; and, the situation having quieted 
down, trade was resumed. On October 3rd, up to which time the 
Daphne remained off the town, news arrived that a former Sultan, 
Salim bin Thoweynee, who had been warned by the Indian govern- 
ment not to enter Oman, was about to return and seize the throne. 
Commander Foot, in consequence, weighed and cruised to intercept 
him, and, after several disappointments, discovered the pretender on 
the 10th off the Suadi Islands. Boats were manned and armed, and 
he and his two dhows were captured without resistance. Two or 
three hours later he would have disembarked on the mainland, and 
would have been able to elude pursuit. 1 

A hostile collision between Great Britain and Egypt was within 
a little of taking place towards the end of 1875. Both Egypt and 
Zanzibar claimed the coastline north of the river Juba. It was 
occupied, however, by, and was eventually confirmed to, Zanzibar. 
Nevertheless an Egyptian squadron, under M'Killop Pasha, 2 had 
sailed down the coast, and substituted the Egyptian for the 
Zanzibari flag at Barawa. Upon hearing of this Dr. John Kirk, 
British consul at Zanzibar, proceeded to the spot in the Thetis, 14, 
Captain Thomas Le Hunte Ward, in order to see how matters 
stood, and to look after the interests of the numerous Indian 
subjects of the Queen who resided there. Kirk and Ward landed, 
but other persons from the corvette were prevented from doing so, 
the Egyptians threatening to fire on them. Having returned on 
board, the consul demanded an apology, and the concession of the 
right of British officers to land without interference. Both demands 
were refused ; and the Thetis had actually cleared for action and 

1 Muscat letter of Oct. 16 in A. and N. Gaz., Xov. 20, 1875. 

2 Henry Fredk. M'Killop, a Capt. H.X. of 1862, who had retired in 1870. 

1ST 1-76.] CRUISE OF THE "DIDO." 279 

prepared to laud bluejackets and Marines ere the commandant on 
shore changed his mind, and hurriedly gave way. 1 

For some time afterwards the Thetis was very active in the 
suppression of the slave trade off the east coast of Africa, capturing 
numerous dhows in the course of 1876-77. 

The Dido, 8, Captain William Cox Chapman, which was paid off 
in the summer of 1876 after having been absent from Portsmouth 
for more than five years, served a singularly useful commission, 
owing largely to the tact and good temper of the officer in command. 
In the autumn of 1871 she was instrumental in settling without 
bloodshed a dispute among the kings of New Calabar, Bonny, and 
Ekrika, on the Niger, .and in procuring safety for British trade in 
that river. In 1873 she was similarly successful in effecting a 
peaceful solution of difficulties which had arisen in Fiji between the 
native government and the white settlers. She also returned to 
their homes in the New Hebrides and other groups a number of 
South Sea islanders who had been kidnapped by a notorious brig 
named the Carl. In 1874 she assisted the crew of the French 
man-of-war Ermite, which had been wrecked on Wallace Island, 
and was present at the formal transfer of the Fiji Islands to the 
British flag. On the death of Commodore Goodenough, Captain 
Chapman was appointed Commodore on the Australian station 
pending the arrival there of Captain Anthony Hiley Hoskins. A 
large proportion of the officers who left England with her in 1871 
returned in her in 1876. The record of her commission, though 
unexciting, serves as a good example of the unostentatious but 
valuable work which is often done by British men-of-war of whose 
proceedings little or nothing is ever heard at home. 2 It may be 
added that, on the occasion of one of her visits to -Fiji, the ~Dido was 
so unfortunate as to introduce measles among the native population, 
and that lamentable loss of life followed. 3 

For many years, from 1868 onwards, a series of petty civil wars 
raged almost without intermission in the Navigators' Islands, better 
known as Samoa. At first nothing occurred to excuse active British 
interference, but in 1876 Captain Charles Edward Stevens, of the 
paddle-sloop Barracouta, 5, who was then at Apia, considered it to 
be his duty to intervene. It appears that an American named 
Steinberger had been appointed by the King to be prime minister 

1 Zanzibar coir, of Western Morning News. 
. 2 A. and JV. Gazette, June 10, 1876. " Proc. of Ho. of Commons, Aug. 1, 1876. 


for life, and that the King nevertheless desired to get rid of him. 
It was alleged that both the King and the American consul 
requested Stevens to take charge of Steinberger. The premier, 
therefore, was arrested, and conveyed on board the Barracoota. 
This procedure was bitterly resented by the other ministers and 
the holders of offices, nearly all of whom owed their places to 
Steinberger; and they retaliated by seizing the King and trans- 
porting him to an outlying island. The Barracouta took on board 
Malietoa, the exiled monarch ; and Stevens, landing with fifty 
seamen and Marines at Apia, the capital, on March 13th, marched 
to the council-house, where the legislature was assembled, with a 
view to the restoration of his majesty. The natives resisted; the 
Marines were ordered to disarm them ; a fight ensued ; and two 
Marines and one seaman were killed, and five Marines and three 
seamen wounded. Only three natives fell in the struggle. Stevens 
withdrew to the ship with his wounded, and then landed again 
with guns, and erected breastworks which he held for a fortnight. 
During that time he was not re-attacked ; and finally he went back 
to the Barracouta on March 27th with three chiefs as hostages. 
Upon being relieved by the Sapphire, 14, Captain Elibank Harley 
Murray, the Barracouta transferred the native prisoners to her, and, 
with Steinberger on board, proceeded to Auckland by way of the 
Fiji Islands. 1 This was the earliest of a number of interventions 
which would have been justifiable only if the home government had 
been consistently determined that British influence should be always 
paramount in Samoa. Seeing, however, that no steady policy was 
ever formed with regard to the islands, and that at length, in 1899, 
the group, with the assent of Great Britain, was divided between 
the United States and Germany, it is, perhaps, to be regretted that 
on several subsequent occasions, as in 1876, British life was sacrificed 
in support of causes which were in no adequate sense of imperial 

Stevens's interference was, there is no doubt, particularly unwise. 
He was a truculent and imperious officer, and, a little later, was 
tried, and dismissed the service, for tyrannical conduct. 2 The action 
of the Samoans could not, however, be overlooked. The Pearl 
visited the islands to make enquiries ; and eventually a claim for 
6000 dollars, on account of the loss of life among the Barracouta's 

1 London newspapers of May 25, 1876 ; Stevens's disp. of Mar. 20 ; A. and N. 
Gazette of May 13 and 27, 1876. 2 C. M. of Ap. 11, 1877. 

1870.] HEWETT IN THE NIGER. 281 

people, was lodged by the British Government. In the spring of 
1878, the Sapphire, still commanded by Captain Murray, was sent 
to Apia to enforce the demand. As the natives declined to pay, 
preparations to bombard the town were made on March 18th. 
Happily the Samoans gave way at the very last moment, and so 
saved further effusion of blood. 

In June, 1876, some native chiefs on the banks of the lower 
reaches of the river Niger took it into their heads to interfere with 
the navigation of the stream, and especially to endeavour to obstruct 
the outward passage of a British merchant steamer, the Sultan of 
Sokoto. As there had been previous outrages and unrest Commodore 
Sir William Nathan Wrighte Hewett, V.C., K.C.B., transferred his 
broad pennant from the Active, as being too large a ship for the 
work, to the Sultan of Sokoto, and directed the composite gun- 
boats, Cygnet, 4, Lieutenant Robert Frederick Hammick, and 
Ariel, 4, Lieutenant Orford Churchill, to send their spare stores 
and their upper spars on board the corvette. On July '29th, 
the two gunboats, being thus lightened, crossed the Nun bar 
and anchored in Akassa creek ; and, on the following day, in 
company with the Sultan of Sokoto, which had taken on board 
four guns and thirty Marines from the Active, they moved up 
to a point half a mile above the village of Akado, where a party 
was landed, and three small guns were taken possession of without 

On the 31st the ships weighed, and, after stopping at various 
places to communicate with the natives, anchored off Sabogrega 
at 5 P.M. The Active's steam launch was sent in to palaver with 
the people, who, however, made signs to Lieutenant Ernest Neville 
Eolfe, who was in charge, to keep off, and then opened fire. Sir 
William Hewett at once signalled to the gunboats to bombard the 
town, which was of considerable size and strongly defended with 
rifle-pits and stockades formed of trunks of trees. The natives 
replied in a spirited manner both wdth heavy guns and with small 
arms. At dark the shelling was discontinued, and preparations 
were made to assault the place on the following day. 

At 5.30 A.M. on August 1st, accordingly, the bombardment was 
re-commenced, and a landing-party of bluejackets and Marines was 
assembled round the Cygnet in boats under the command of 
Commander James Andrew Thomas Bruce (Active). The rocket- 
party was under Lieutenant Thomas Peere Williams Nesham ; the 


Koyal Marines were under Lieutenant Adolphus Brett Crosbie, 
E.M.L.I. ; the boats of the Cygnet were under Sub-Lieutenant 
Francis John Oldfield Thomas ; and the boats of the Ariel were 
under Sub-Lieutenant Frederick Kigaud Gransmore. When every- 
thing was ready the boats dashed in under a galling musketry fire, 
dislodged the enemy, burnt the lower town, flung the heavy guns 
into the river, and blew up a quantity of powder. The force then 
re-embarked, and pulled up stream a quarter of a rnile to the upper 
town. Commander Bruce's gig, and the Cygnet's cutter, being in 
advance, did not wait for the main body, but landed at once, 
whereupon their people were set upon by an overwhelming force of 
the enemy, and somewhat roughly treated ere the other boats got 
up. The upper town was then destroyed, and the force, returning 
on board, moved up to Agberi, which, in the course of the afternoon, 
was burnt without much resistance. That day's work cost the 
squadron the loss of one Marine killed, and of five officers ' and nine 
men wounded. 

On August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the force proceeded steadily up 
the river, and on the 5th it reached Onitcha, about 170 miles above 
the Nun bar. Commodore Hewett there, on the 6th, had a 
satisfactory interview with the king, after which he returned, 
stopping, however, to burn Akado, at the point where the channel 
had been obstructed in June. The expedition re-anchored in 
Akassa creek on the 10th, and, on the llth, recrossed the bar, 
after having accomplished its objects in a most satisfactory 
manner. 2 

In order to carry out this Niger Expedition, Sir William Hewett 
was temporarily called away from troublesome business which 
occupied him elsewhere, and which, indeed, was his chief pre- 
occupation during nearly the whole of the year 1876. Quite early 
in that year, Gelele, King of Dahomey, who had succeeded his 
father Gezo in 1858, and who ever since had been intractable and 
anti-British, committed certain outrages on the persons of British 
subjects at Whydah. Hewett proceeded to the spot in February, 
and, having held an enquiry, sentenced the King to pay a heavy 

1 Lieut. T. P. W. Nesham; Sub-Lieuts. F. J. 0. Thomas, and John Casement 
(Mallard); Rev. Fras. Chas. Lang, Chaplain; and Paym. Hy. Cecil Wm. Gibson, 
Secretary. Nesham, Thomas, and Casement were promoted on Oct. 3, 1876. Sub- 
Lieuts. Harry Campbell Reynolds and Tom Bowden Triggs, both of the Active, were 
also promoted on Oct. 13. 

2 Hewett's disps. ; Madeira telegram of Sept. 5 ; Corr. of Times, Sept. 14. 

1876-77.] BLOCKADE OF DAHOMEY. 283 

fine, and threatened that, unless the fine were paid within three 
months, the coast would be blockaded from June 1st onwards. 1 
When the terms of this warning were conveyed to the Admiralty, 
their Lordships, for some not very obvious reason, directed that 
no blockade should be established until after June 30th, 2 and so, 
it would appear, unwittingly encouraged Gelele in his contumacy ; 
for he showed no signs of any intention to hand over the 500 
puncheons of palm- oil demanded. 

On and from July 1st, accordingly, a blockade was declared 
between 1 30" and 2 35" East, the Spiteful, 5, paddle, Commander 
Armand Temple Powlett, being stationed at Whydah, and the 
gunboat Ariel, Lieutenant Orford Churchill, being stationed at 
Little Popo to enforce it, and to protect British interests. a Vessels 
already in the blockaded ports were, however, allowed thirty days 
wherein to load and depart. Gelele retaliated by seizing some 
French subjects ; and, as he held them practically as hostages, 
considerations for their safety thenceforth fettered Hewett to a 
very inconvenient extent. And so the affair dragged on. In the 
course of it, Captain Charles Pringle, of the Sirius, 12, one of 
the vessels engaged, succumbed to coast fever, and was ultimately 
succeeded by Captain George Lydiard Sulivan, who, towards the 
end of the blockade, was senior officer on the coast. Hewett, too, 
whose period of command expired in due course, was succeeded as 
Commodore by Captain Francis William Sullivan, C.B., who flew 
his broad pennant in the Tourmaline, 12, but who took little direct 
share in the dreary and unhealthy work. The most arduous part 
of the duty fell to the Sirius, Seagull, 3, Commander Frederick 
William Burgoyne Maxwell Heron, Cygnet, 4, Lieutenant Kobert 
Frederick Hammick, Contest, 4, Lieutenant George Woronzow 
Allen, Mallard, 4, Lieutenant Alfred Wilmot Warry, Avon, 4, 
Commander Leicester Chantrey Keppel, Pioneer, 6, paddle, Lieu- 
tenant Edwin Hotham, Spiteful, Ariel, and Supply, 2, storeship, 
Staff- Commander Frank Inglis. 

The whole conduct of the latter part of the blockade was left to 
Captain George Lydiard Sulivan, with the result that on May 4tb, 
1877, Gelele found it expedient to open negotiations with him at 
Whydah. On May 10th a preliminary instalment of 200 puncheons 
of oil was handed over; and two days later the blockade was 

1 Hewett's letter to Brit, traders, dated off Lagos, Mar. 4, 1870. 

2 Gazette, May 23, 1876. 3 A. & N. Gaz. July 20, 1876. 


formally raised. 1 Sulivan received the approval of the government 
for the arrangements into which he entered. 

Scarcely had affairs been settled with Dahomey ere, in conse- 
quence of the refusal of some of the Niger natives to release 
prisoners whom they had taken from the Sultan of Sokoto, it 
became necessary to undertake a fresh expedition into the lower 
reaches of that pestilential river. Accordingly, Captain John Child 
Purvis (2), of the Danae, 12, shifted his pennant to the Pioneer, 6, 
Lieutenant Edwin Hotham, and in her, with the Avon, 4, Com- 
mander Leicester Chantrey Keppel, and Boxer, 4, Commander 
Arthur Hildebrand Alington, in company, proceeded up the stream 
on August 15th, 1877. There had been previously transferred to 
the Pioneer from the Danae 6 officers, 42 seamen, and 17 Marines. 
Two British consular officers were also with the expedition. On 
the 17th the flotilla brought to off Emblana, and, after an unsatis- 
factory interview had been held with the head men, the people were 
ordered out of the village, which was promptly subjected to a fire of 
shell, case, and rockets. A landing party, under Lieutenant John 
Salwey Halifax, supported by another under Lieutenant Edward 
Henry Arden, then burnt the place, and a number of canoes. Off 
Osomari, on the evening of the 18th, the Avon piled up on a sand- 
bank, delaying the advance for some hours. On the following day, 
Onitcha was reached, and on the 21st the local chief gave assur- 
ances of friendliness. The vessels next dropped down to Oko, on 
the other side of the river. The chief of that place, though con- 
tumacious and defiant, escaped punishment. On the 26th, when 
Emblana was repassed, the natives opened fire, whereupon a party 
landed, chastised them severely, and burnt more of their huts. A 
village on Stirling Island was subsequently destroyed, with but 
slight opposition. In these affairs the only loss suffered by the 
expedition was three men slightly wounded. The ships quitted the 
river on August 28th. 2 

At about the same period there was trouble of a similar character 
in the river Congo. On December 27th, 1876, when the Avon, 4, 
Commander Leicester Chantrey Keppel, lay at Loanda, the British 
steamer Ethiopia arrived there, having on board the master and 
crew of the American schooner Joseph Nickerson. These people, 
who had been picked up at Banana Creek, reported that their 

1 Times corr. in A. <fc N. Gaz., June 23, 1877. 

2 Desps., and corr. in A. & N. Gaz. of Oct. 6 and 13, 1877. 


vessel had run on shore at Shark's Point, while endeavouring to 
enter the Congo, and had been plundered by natives, who had 
fought a serious skirmish with some Dutch settlers who endeavoured 
to interfere. The Avon thereupon proceeded to the mouth of the 
river, and Keppel held a palaver on December 30th with the chiefs 
at Shark's Point, and demanded that the stolen goods should be 
returned. There being no sign of compliance, he landed six officers, 
forty men, and four guides on January 2nd, 1877, and burnt two 
villages. The party was fired at as it returned. The Avon con- 
sequently proceeded higher up, burnt three more villages, and fired 
rockets into others. The effect was excellent, for quantities of 
the stolen goods were subsequently given up by the people. The 
Avon suffered no loss, and Keppel's action received the full approval 
of the government. 1 

On another occasion, at about the same time, did it fall to a 
British ship to avenge an outrage on the crew of an American 
vessel. In 1873 a steamer, the George Wright, while on her voyage 
to Alaska, had been lost in Queen Charlotte Sound, off the coast 
of British Columbia. About fifteen of her people had escaped to 
land, and had been brutally robbed, and then murdered by the 
Indians. Early in 1877 some of the belongings of these poor 
people were reported to be in possession of a tribe in Deane's Inlet, 
on the mainland. The gun-vessel Rocket, 4, Lieutenant Charles 
Reynold Harris, with an interpreter and a sergeant of police, sailed 
for the spot on March 14th from Vancouver, and soon discovered 
that men who had been implicated in the massacre were still in 
the neighbourhood. Harris seized some chiefs as hostages, and 
demanded that the culprits should be given up ; but, this being 
in vain, he was ultimately obliged to shell and burn the village, 
ere he could secure compliance. Two of the culprits were thus 
taken. 2 

In the course of a revolutionary movement which occurred in 
Peru in 1877, some adherents of the insurgent leader, Nicolas de 
Pierola, persuaded the officers of the Peruvian turret-ship Huascar, 3 

1 A. & N. Gaz., Ap. 7, and June 23, 1877. 

2 Corr. of Western Daily Mercury, May, 1877. 

8 The Huascar, an iron single-turreted monitor of 1130 tons displacement, was 
built by Laird Brothers, of Birkenhead, in 1865, and fitted by them with simple jet 
condenser engines indicating 1200 horse-power, and working a single, four-bladed, non- 
raising screw. The dimensions were: length, 196 ft.; beam, 35 ft. 6 in.; depth of 
hold, 21 ft.; freeboard, 4 ft. 6 in.; draught, 15 ft, forward, 16 ft. aft. The hull was 


to rebel against the central government. With the connivance of 
the officers, a number of the insurgents seized the vessel in the 
harbour of Callao, and, under cover of the darkness, put to sea, 
making for the southward. At Cobija, then a port of Bolivia, the 
Huascar took Pierola himself on board, and then returned to the 
northward with a view to effect a landing. Soon after the seizure 
of the turret-ship, Bear-Admiral Algernon Frederick Eous de Horsey, 
British Cornmander-in-Chief in the Pacific, arrived at Callao in his 
flagship, the Shah ; l and, being informed of what had occurred, and 
learning also that the Huascar had committed outrages against 
British subjects and British property, he made formal complaint 

divided into five watertight compartments by four traverse &-in. iron bulkheads with 
watertight doors. There was also a collision bulkhead forward ; and on each side of the 
fire-room there was a longitudinal |-in. iron bulkhead extending to the traverse bulk- 
heads forward and aft, and leaving a space 3 ft. wide between it and the ship's side. 
The bottom was double. The turret, on Captain Coles's plan, was supported on rollers, 
and revolved by hand gearing. Its exterior diameter was 22 ft. The turret armour 
was 5 in. thick, backed by 13 in. of teak set on end, and by a J-in. iron inner skin, 
except around the two oval ports, where the armour was increased by 2-iu. plates, 
and the backing proportionately reduced. The turret roof was of 2-in. plates, and 
slightly convex, and was provided with two bullet-proof sighting hoods. The side- 
armour, extending 3 ft. 6 in. below the load water-line, had a thickness of 4-J in. 
abreast of the turret-chamber and the fire and engine-rooms, and diminished to 2J in. 
at the bow and stern. It was backed by 10 in. of teak, and a J-in. inner iron skin. 
The bow was strengthened and shaped for ramming. The deck was protected by 
2-in. plates. Forward was a small top-gallant forecastle, 6 ft. high. Aft was an open 
poop. Abaft the turret was an hexagonal conning-tower 7 ft. 6 in. high and 8 ft. wide, 
by 5 ft. 2 in. long, carrying 3-in. armour in vertical slabs, backed by balks of teak 
8 in. thick, placed on end. The summit of it supported a bridge. Abaft the conning- 
tower was an unarmoured funnel ; and around this was the fire-room hatch, with a 
high wooden coaming, and no bomb-proof grating. Abaft the funnel was an iron 
mainmast with wire rigging set up to the rails without channels. The foremast was a 
tripod of iron tubes, and the rig was that of a brig with movable bowsprit. The coal 
capacity was 300 tons ; the turning period, through 180, was 2 minutes 0'3 seconds ; 
and the maximum speed was 11 knots. Her armament consisted of two 10-in. 12^-ton 
300-pr. Armstrong ll.M.L. mounted in the turret, and commanding 138 of the horizon, 
i.e., from 10 on either side of the bow line to 32 on either side of the stern line ; and 
two 40-pr. Armstrong E.M.L., placed one on each side of the quarter-deck. 

' The Shah, an iron, wood and copper sheathed unarmoured frigate of 6250 tons 
displacement and 7480 indicated horse-power, was built at Portsmouth in 1873, and 
engined by Messrs. Kavenhill. At her official trials in April, 1876, her mean speed 
was 16 4 knots. Her armament at the time of the action consisted of two 9-in. 12-ton 
E.M.L., sixteen 7-in. 6J-ton E.M.L., and eight 64-pr. R.M.L., with Gatlings in the 
tops, and with three above-water torpedo ejectors. The complement was 602 officers 
and men. She was ship-rigged, with a single screw, and two funnels ; and her dimen- 
sions were : length, 334 ft. 7 in. ; beam, 52 ft. ; mean draught, 26 ft. 5i in. In 1892 
the Shah was towed to Bermuda to serve as a hulk there. She was commanded at the 
time of this action by Captain Frederick George Denham Bedford. 

1877.] THE "SHAH" AND THE " I1UASCAH." 287 

to the Peruvian Government, which, in reply, disclaimed respon- 
sibility, declared the Huascar to be a pirate, and offered a reward 
for her capture. The Eear-Admiral determined, therefore, to 
proceed against the rebel vessel with his flagship and the corvette 
Amethyst. 1 

The following brief account of the resultant proceedings is taken 
from ' The War Ships and Navies of the World,' a valuable work 
by Chief-Engineer King, U.S.N. : 

" Having put to sea for the purpose, the Rear- Admiral sighted the Huascar off the 
town of Ilo on the afternoon of May 29th, and summoned her to surrender. This 
summons the commanding officer refused to entertain. The Shah then fired, first a 
blank cartridge, and then a shotted charge, but, the Huascar still refusing to surrender, 
a steady and well-sustained fire from both the Shah and Amethyst was directed against 
her. The fight was partly in chase and partly circular, the distance between the 
combatants being, for the greater part of the time, from 1500 to 2500 yards. The time 
employed in the engagement was about three hours, the fight being terminated by 
darkness coming on and the Huascar running close in shore where the Shah could not 
follow, consequent upon her greater draught. Of the projectiles thrown from the 
English ships, it is reported that some seventy or eighty struck the ironclad, principally 
about the upper decks, bridge, masts, and boats. One projectile from a heavy gun 
pierced the side on the port quarter 2 feet above the water, where the armour was 
2 or 3 in. thick, and brought up against the opposite side, killing one man and 
wounding another. Two other projectiles dented in the side armour to the extent of 
3 inches. The turret was struck once by a projectile from the heavy guns of the Shah. 
It was a direct blow, but penetrated 3 inches only. The hull showed that several 
64-pr. shot had struck it, only leaving marks. When at close quarters which the 
Huascar sought for the purpose of ramming the (ratling gun in the Shah's fore-top 
drove the men from the quarter-deck guns of the former. On one of these occasions 
a Whitehead torpedo was launched at the ironclad, but, as she altered her course at 
about the same instant, the torpedo failed to strike its mark." 

Neither British ship suffered any loss ; neither, in fact, was 
struck about the hull. The action began at 3.6 P.M. and terminated 
at 5.45 P.M. The Shah's firing was telling and well-sustained, but 
the turret-ship, being a small and low target, and frequently end on, 
was a difficult object to hit, and the atmospheric conditions were 
not, it is reported, altogether favourable for good practice. The 
Shah's guns also were more than once ordered to cease firing, when, 
owing to the Huascar placing herself close under the town of Ilo, 
there was risk of injuring the buildings and property on shore. The 
Amethyst's fire was conducted with great precision ; but, for the 
business in hand, her guns were, of course, useless. The Shah's 

1 The Amethyst, a single-screw unarmoured wooden corvette, of 1970 tons dis- 
placement and 2140 indicated horse-power, carried fourteen 64-pr. R.M.L. guns, and 
had a complement of 226 officers and men. She was commanded on the occasion by 
Captain Alfred John Chatfield. 


movements were impeded by the narrowness of the waters in which 
she was operating ; by her great length ; and by the danger of 
stopping in view of the possibility of being rammed. The Huascar 
lost one killed and three wounded. A boat expedition, despatched 
in the course of the following night under Lieutenant Charles 
Lindsay to attack the rebel ship, failed to find her, owing to 
darkness and fog. 1 Lieutenant Thomas Francis Abbott, Sub- 
Lieutenants Hugh Talbot, and Scott "William Alfred Hamilton 
Gray, Navigating Sub-Lieutenant Henry William Steele, Surgeons 
Marcus Allen, and Thomas Martyn Sibbald, and Assistant Engineer 
William Walter White volunteered for this service. 

Two British officers who subsequently inspected the Huascar 
were of opinion that seventy or eighty projectiles, 2 as mentioned by 
Mr. King, had struck her. Numbers of pieces of shell were sticking 
in the woodwork. One 9-inch common shell had struck the hull 
on the starboard side, about 2 feet from the water-line and 50 feet 
from the stern, in the foremost wardroom cabin. It had burst 
in the backing, the head splintering in all directions, and the base 
continuing its course until brought up against the inner skin on the 
opposite side. Don Manuel Carrasco, in his official report, stated 
that the explosion of this shell killed one seaman and wounded an 
officer and two men. 

"The plating at the spot where it struck was about 3J in. thick. Two 64-pr. 
shells left indentations on the plating. One heavy shot, evidently a ricochet, hit the 
upper edge on the starboard side, scoring it to a depth of 3 in. after going, through the 
bulwark. Another hit the plating 2 ft. from the water-line at an angle, making a dent 
2 in. in depth and 18 in. in length. On the port side there was a shot similar to the 
ricochet. The hull showed that several 64-prs. had struck it, only leaving a mark. 
One shot struck the poop on the port quarter, and went out on the starboard side, 
splintering an iron beam. The funnel-casing and funnel had been hit about twelve 
times by shot and pierced by the Galling gun. The turret had only been struck once 
by a 7-in. projectile hitting direct and penetrating 3 inches." 

1 A. & N. Gazette, July 14, and July 21, 1877. Desps. (laid on table of House 
of Commons July 27, 1877). 

2 The small effect produced by the Shah's 9-in. and 7-in. projectiles is very remark- 
able, seeing that theoretically their penetration of wrought iron, striking direct, should 
have been 

At 1000 yds. At 2000 yds. 
in. in. 

9 in 9-6 8-4 

7 in 6-5 5-6 

The projectile of the 9-in. gun weighed 253 lb., and the powder-charge 50 Ib. The 
projectile of the 7-in. gun weighed 112 lb., and the powder-charge 30 lb. The muzzle 
velocities should have been 1440 and 1525 foot-seconds respectively. 


This account does not agree strictly with that given by Mr. 
King ; but, no very important facts being at stake, it is not deemed 
necessary or worth while to endeavour to harmonise or explain the 
apparent differences. 

The Huascar was afterwards surrendered to the Peruvian 

On the east coast of Africa, in 1877, the vessels there employed 
for the repression of the slave trade found plenty to do, the boats 
of the London, Captain Thomas Baker Martin Sulivan, continuing 
their activity and capturing numerous dhows. On one occasion 
Lieutenant William Kooke Cresswell, when about to board one of 
these craft, had a narrow escape of his life. The slavers intended 
to allow him to board, and then to shoot him ; but the officer was 
saved by the interpreter, who, catching sight of a half-hidden Arab, 
with his gun cocked and levelled, gave warning of the danger. 
Among other officers of the London whose names figure in the 
despatches of the time were Lieutenant Lloyd William Mathews, 
and Sub-Lieutenant Eobert Maitland King. The Lynx, 4, Com- 
mander Francis Metcalfe Ommanney, which received permission 
to search vessels bearing the Portuguese flag, was another active 
cruiser on the station. The Vulture, 3, Commander Henry Holford 
Washington, also made herself useful on the same coast, and con- 
tinued to do so, first under that officer, and then under Commander 
John Eliot Pringle, during great part of her commission, 1876-80. 
In the Persian Gulf, in 1878, Pringle's boats were engaged in an 
action of some importance. 

The Vulture proceeded to Bahrein in October of that year in 
order to exact certain fines from the head men of the island for the 
infraction of a treaty which had been concluded in 1861. On 
arriving, she learnt that all communication with El Kateef, on the 
mainland, was suspended, and that that town was beleaguered by 
about 3000 Bedouins. Pringle, in consequence, went on to El 
Kateef, and communicated with the governor, who informed him 
of the presence of a considerable piratical fleet of dhows near Has 
Tinnorah. The Vulture steamed thither, and on October 10th 
found the dhows close in shore in shoal water. Although it was 
blowing half a gale, Pringle manned and armed his boats, and led 
them to the attack. Six of the largest dhows made sail and stood 
out to engage, while the others, and many people on shore, opened 
a brisk fire. The British, however, pushed in, drove the Arabs 



from their vessels, and harassed their retreat with shrapnel and 
rockets. It was ascertained that the enemy lost no fewer than 
34 killed and 85 wounded, while the attacking party escaped scot 
free. Twenty dhows were taken possession of, and, each in charge 
of a bluejacket, were navigated to El Kateef. The capture of the 
flotilla relieved the governor, who had long suffered from the 
depredations of the marauders and of their allies on shore. 1 

In 1875 Bosnia and Herzegovina revolted from Turkey. At that 
time the Ottoman Empire was bankrupt, misrule was general 
throughout the country, and Eussian influence was all powerful at 
Constantinople. On May 30th, 187B, a palace conspiracy cost the 
Sultan Abdul Aziz his throne. His feeble, if not imbecile successor, 
Murad V., made way in three months for Abdul Hamid II., and, 
while these changes were going on, the Bosnian revolt extended to 
Bulgaria ; and Servia and Montenegro also took up arms against the 
Porte. It was then, with a view to signifying to the revolted 
provinces and to their Russian instigators that she would not suffer 
Constantinople to become a prize to any of the Sultan's enemies, 
and with a view also to the protection of her own interests as a great 
eastern and Mahometan power, that Great Britain found it necessary 
to make a naval demonstration by dispatching her Mediterranean 
Fleet to Besika Bay, near the entrance to the Dardanelles. It 
assembled there in June, and the greater part of it remained there, 
or in the immediate neighbourhood, for many months. There was 
then but one British flag-officer permanently employed afloat in the 
Mediterranean, but, as soon as the demonstration had been decided 
upon, Rear-Admiral Edward Bridges Rice, Superintendent of Malta 
Dockyard, shifted his flag from the guardship Hibernia to the 
armoured battleship Triumph, Captain George Henry Parkin, and 
joined the Commander-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir James 
Robert Drummond, K.C.B., who flew his flag in the armoured 
battleship Hercules, Captain Nathaniel Bowden-Smith. Rear- 
Admiral William Garnham Luard was also sent out as a temporary 
Superintendent to Malta. The British Naval force in the Mediter- 
ranean in November, 187tj, comprised ten ironclads, inclusive of the 
small and inefficient Pallas, corvette, and Research, sloop, among 
the number being the Sultan, then commanded by H.R.H. Captain 
the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G. It also comprised about a dozen 
unarmoured vessels, the only really valuable one of which, however, 
1 A. A- N. Gaz., Jan. 11, 1879. 




was the iron screw frigate Raleigh. Had the Mediterranean fleet 
of that year been obliged to undertake a campaign, it would have 
found itself even worse off for efficient cruisers and scouts than the 
same fleet was when Nelson most complained of its shortcomings 
in that direction. Happily Drummond was not called upon to 
adopt active measures. 

In the early spring of 1877 Drummond was succeeded in com- 
mand by Vice-Admiral Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby, an officer 

(From a photo by Rmsell.) 

who, although he had not seen a shot fired in anger since 1840, had, 
at the age of fifty-two, established for himself a reputation scarcely 
second to that of any British naval officer then living. It is not 
astonishing. He was a great student of professional history ; he 
had a wonderfully clear head, and a scientific mind ; he was a 
natural diplomatist, and an unrivalled tactician ; and, to a singular 
independence and uprightness of character, he added a mastery of 
technical detail, and a familiarity with contemporary thought and 
progress that were unusual in those days among officers of his 

u 2 

'202 M1L1TAHY 1IISTOKY 01'' THE KOYM NA V)', 1857-1900. 

standing. He might have derived no small additional advantage 
from the fact that he was a kinsman and close friend of the Earl 
of Derby, the Foreign Secretary with whom it became his duty to 
co-operate, so that his qualifications for the post were, upon the 
whole, greater probably than were possessed by any other man of 
the moment. Unfortunately, Lord Derby was one of the weakest 
Foreign Secretaries of his age. 

Hornby hoisted his flag and went out in the battleship 
Alexandra, Captain Eobert O'Brien FitzEoy, reaching Malta on 
March 17th. In July he took the fleet to Besika Bay, Kussia 
having by that time declared war against Turkey, and crossed the 
Danube. Thenceforward, until December, Besika Bay remained 
the headquarters and usual anchorage of the fleet, which, in the 
interval, thanks to the energy and administrative ability of the 
Commander-in~Chi6f, was brought up to a very high degree of 
efficiency. As the Eussians continued to advance, Bear-Admiral 
Sir Edmund Commerell, V.C., was sent out in the Agincourt, 
Captain Eichard Wells, as second in command. 

On December 27th, the fleet weighed from Besika Bay, and 
proceeded to Vourla Bay, at the entrance to the Gulf of Smyrna, 
a place which Hornby had selected as a more suitable winter 
station ; and, it then seeming improbable that the Eussians could 
penetrate much further southward until the spring, the Admiral 
quitted the fleet and went to Malta on January 4th. In consequence 
of a telegram which reached him there on the night of the llth, 
he returned to Vourla Bay in the Sultan, Captain the Duke of 
Edinburgh, leaving in the hands of the dockyard authorities his 
own flagship the Alexandra, the Achilles, the Devastation, and the 
Raleigh, with orders to rejoin him as soon as possible. At that 
time, and indeed for many months previous, he was most anxioxis 
to be supplied with troops from England to enable him, if necessary, 
to occupy the lines of Bulair, 1 above Gallipoli, and so to secure his 
own communications, and threaten those of the Eussians, in case 
he should be required to undertake hostile action within the 
Dardanelles. As these troops were never sent to him, it is perhaps 
fortunate that, after all, he was not called upon to fight. He was 
also an importunate advocate for a more determined policy than 
found favour at Whitehall. 

1 Across the narrow neck of the peninsula of (rallipoli, a position easily defen- 
sible by troops supported by ships. 


On January 18th, 1878, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Austen Henry 
Layard, British Ambassador to the Porte, telegraphed to the Vice- 
Admiral at Vourla : 

"Kussians advancing upon Adrianople, which they will probably occupy imme- 
diately. . . . Austria and England have remonstrated at St. Petersburg. Panic 
amongst ministers here." 

On the 20th came a further telegram : 

"Consul at Dardanelles reports that he thinks a further series of torpedoes have 
been laid at the entrance of the Straits between Castles Koum-Kali and Sed-ul-Bahr, 
and also at the northern extremity of the narrows between Forts Nagara and Bovali. 
The mid-channel at bottom of the places not believed to be obstructed. . . . About 
sixty heavy rifled guns are mounted now in the four principal forts in the narrows. 
The 50-ton Krupp gun at Sultanieh Fort may be called ready for service." 

This was followed by : 

"Admiralty, London, (j.40 p.m., Jan. 23, to Admiral, Vourla, 11.55 a.m., Jan. 24. 

" Sail immediately for Dardanelles, and proceed with the fleet now with you to 
Constantinople. Abstain from taking any part in contest between Russia and Turkey, 
but waterway of Straits is to be kept open ; and, in the event of tumult at Constanti- 
nople, protect life and property of British subjects. . . ." 

Thereupon Hornby, on the 24th, telegraphed to the Am- 
bassador : 

"Have received orders to proceed to Constantinople with the fleet, and to keep 
Dardanelles open. I sail at 5 P.M. to-day. Bequest firman may be sent for the fleet to 
pass Tchernak, but orders do not permit me to wait for firman." 

And to his wife he wrote: 

..." With a determined enemy in possession of the Gallipoli peninsula, this ' (the 
keeping open of the Dardanelles) ' is not possible for ships to guarantee. I fear from 
the vacillation our orders denote that we are not well commanded, 1 and I do not 
anticipate much credit will accrue to the country. . . ." 

When the fleet sailed, no one but the Commander-in-Chief, who 
led the starboard line in the dispatch-vessel Salamis, Commander 
Frederick Wilbraham Egerton, knew whither nor 011 what mission 
it was bound, though everyone guessed. By 8 A.M. on the 25th the 
fleet was off Besika. No fresh orders met it there, and it passed on. 
Close to the mouth of the Dardanelles, Hornby transferred his flag 
to the Sultan, and began to make such preparations for action as 
were possible without betraying a hostile purpose. The Salamis 
was sent in to Tchernak 2 with the message : 

1 /.P., not well directed from London. 

2 On the Asiatic shore at the mouth of the narrowest part of the Dardanelles. See 
c'tiart in Vol. V., p. 223. 


" We came as friends, but I was bound to go on. If you fired at me I should ba- 
obliged to fire at you ; and then we should only be playing the llussian game, which 
would be very disagreeable to me." 

The commandant at Tchernak had the firman granting per- 
mission to pass, and handed it to Egerton, who was on the point of 
taking it off to the flagship, when a telegraph clerk ran after him 
with a message as follows : 

" Admiralty, London, Jan. 24, 7.39 p.m., to Admiral, Tchernak, Jan. 25, 3.30 p.m. 
" Annul former orders. Anchor at Besika Bay and wait further orders. Report 
arrival there."' 

This sudden reversal of policy was most annoying to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, who feared not only that it would be prejudicial 
to British material interests, but also that it would be most injurious 
to British prestige throughout the East. He anticipated that it 
would encourage Russia, and would drive the Sultan into the hands 
of the Czar. The truth seems to be that the British Cabinet had 
been apprised in the interim of certain terms upon which Eussia 
was willing to make peace, and regarded those terms as admissible. 
However this may have been, a different view presently recom- 
mended itself to the Ministry, for, on February 9th Hornby, then 
in Besika Bay, received orders to proceed, if possible that afternoon, 
for Constantinople to protect the life and property of British 
subjects. He was informed that the Ambassador had been directed 
to obtain the necessary firman, to induce the Porte to send pacific 
orders to the forts, and to communicate the results to the Vice- 
Admiral. Again, therefore, he proceeded for Tchernak, weighing 
at 6 P.M. ; but at Tchernak there was neither firman nor message 
from Mr. Layard, and, to make matters worse, the Pasha in 
command protested against the fleet entering the strait. After 
anchoring for some hours, Hornby returned to Besika Bay, and 
curtly telegraphed home to ask whether he was to go on and force 
a passage, or to wait for permission to pass. On the 10th he heard 
from the Ambassador that permission had been asked for and had 
been refused, and next that the Eussians had threatened to occupy 
Constantinople in case the ships should pass the Dardanelles. 

On February 12th more definite and satisfactory instructions 
arrived from London. The Vice- Admiral was to proceed into the 
Sea of Marmora without waiting for a firman, and if he were fired 
upon and his ships were struck, was to return the fire, but not 




to wait to demolish the forts. 1 I take the following description of 
those works from Mrs. Fred Egerton's biography - of her father : 

" There were then only four formidable forts in the Dardanelles. The lowest of 
these was Fort Namasghia, 3 in which were sixteen Krupp breechloading rifled guns, 
Hupposed to be about 26 centimetres, 4 also one Krupp and two Armstrong 7-inch 
muzzle-loading guns. Nearly opposite is the Sultanieh Fort, 8 in which the monster 
50-ton Krupp gun had been mounted to command the approaches to the Narrows. 
This was, however, the only formidable piece of ordnance in the fort. A mile above is 
the Medjidieh Fort, probably the strongest of all, having been reconstructed by a 
German officer, Blum. It had thirteen 6-inch breech-loading Krupp guns, seven of 
which enfiladed the channel. The fort of Nagara, 6 two and a half miles further on, 
completed the defences, as the other forts were supplie 1 only with obsolete guns, or the 
modern ones intended for them had not been mounted." 7 

No mines were feared ; for, although a number had been laid 
down, Hornby believed that recent gales, aiding the always strong 
current, had washed all of them into the .ZEgean Sea. Woods 
Pasha, who had to do with the laying and recovery of them, has 
since informed me that Hornby was mistaken. 

The Raleigh, 22, Captain Charles Trelawny Jago, was detached 
to Dedegatch to embark fugitives ; the Salamis was sent forward 
to communicate once more with the Pasha commanding at 
Tchernak ; and with the following six battleships, cleared for 
action and with their upper spars sent down, the Vice-Admiral, 
who had weighed at daylight, entered the mouth of the Dardanelles, 
a snowy gale blowing from the eastward : 






|V.-Adm. G. T. P. Hornby. 1 

Altxundra . 


<Capt. Robt. O'Brien FitzRoy. 
|jom. Atwell Peregrine Macleod Lake. ) 

To destroy the 50-ton gun. 

.R.-Adiu. Sir J. E. Commerell, K.C.B., V.C. 



Jt'apt. Richard Wells. 
(Cum. Thomas Sturges Jackson. 

To silenre Namasghia. 

(Capt. Sir Wm. Nathan Wrighte Hewett, K.C.B., V.I '. ( 

Achilles . . . 


(Com Wm. Hargraves Mitchell Molyueux. J 

To silence Namasghia. 

Saiftsure . . 


(Capt. Nowell Salmon, C.B., V.C. 1 
(Com. Hilary Gnstavus Andoe. J 

To attack Medjidieh Fort. 



(Capt. Michael Culine-Seymour. 
(Com. Albert Baldwin Jcnkiugs. J 

To attack MeJjidieh Fort. 



(Capt. H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G. 1 
(Com. llichd. Kreiik. Britten. / 

To destroy the 50-ton gnu. 

Xote. The Hotspur, 3, Capt. St. Gejrga Caulfiild d'Arcy-Irvine, and Ruby, curvette, Capt. Robt. Hy. More 
Molyneux, whicb had quitted Besika Bay with the Meet, hat been detached to assist the Raleigh, she having 
run ashore near Rabbit IsUnd. Numerous other vesse's were itt the Mediterranean, but not then upon 
the spot. 

1 At the same time the Channel Squadron was ordered to Gibraltar, and, a day or 
two later, to Malta. 

2 ' Admiral of the Fleet Sir G. T. Phipps Hornby ' : London, 1896. 

3 Below Kilid Bahr. 4 I.e. of about 10.5-in. calibre. 6 Near Tchernak. 
The ancient Abydos. 7 See the chart in Vol. V., p. 223. 

296 M1L1TAUY HlSTOltY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1857-1900. 

As Egerton landed at Tchernak he noted that the tompion had 
not been taken out of the big gun. That was reassuring. The 
Pasha, however, appears to have handed to Egerton a written 
protest, although he qualified it by saying, as he dismissed that 
officer, "Keturn to the Admiral, and tell him that from motives of 
humanity I refrain from firing." 

The flagship grounded on the edge of a shoal just below the 
narrowest part of the strait, Retaining the Sultan to assist the 
Alexandra, Hornby sent on the other four ships to Gallipoli. As 
soon as the Alexandra had been got off, she proceeded to Nagara 
Point, where she anchored for the night. On the 14th the 
Commander-in-Chief learnt that the Kussians were within twelve 
miles of the Bulair lines. He therefore left the Agincourt and 
Swiftsure off Gallipoli, ordered forward the Salamis to com- 
municate with Mr. Layard, and, with the Alexandra, Achilles, 
Sultan, and Temeraire, steamed leisurely across the Sea of 


Marmora, and appeared off Constantinople on the morning of 
February 15th. He anchored near Prince's Islands, within sight 
of the Russian and Turkish tents that faced each other close to 
San Stefano. 

Hornby's opinion always was that, had the Turks tried to 
obstruct his passage, he could have silenced their batteries, and, 
with relatively small damage to himself, have reached Constanti- 
nople. Had the Alexandra, however, or any one of the ships 
grounded under fire, it might have been impossible to save 
her. He knew nothing of the mines. He believed, neverthe- 
less, that if either the Turks or the Russians had determined 
seriously to hold the northern bank of the Dardanelles against the 
fleet, they could, with but little special preparation, have accom- 
plished their purpose, or at least have prevented the passage 
of the Narrows by any vessels not armoured. His ships, he 
asserted, could have dealt with the existing guns, which were 
near the water level, but they could not have dealt with the guns 
which might have been quickly mounted on the cliffs above ; and 
guns so mounted might have entirely prevented the upward passage 


of colliers, storeships and transports, and so have deprived the fleet 
off Constantinople of all resources. It was for this reason that he 
ardently desired that he should be placed in a position to occupy the 
lines of Bulair and the peninsula of Gallipoli when ordered to pass 
the Dardanelles ; and, as he was never placed in that position, it 
must be admitted that his situation in the Sea of Marmora was a 
most precarious one, his communications not being in any way 
secured. Fortunately, the Eussians believed that the ships were 
crowded with troops. Fortunately, too, they remembered that their 
own long line of land communications northward to the Danube 
was a difficult one to protect, and that they had pushed southward 
with more hardihood than the rules of sound strategy warranted. 
Austria lay on the flank of the Russian advance, and was excessively 
irritated. And thus, although the Grand Duke had threatened to 
occupy Constantinople if Hornby should enter the Sea of Marmora, 
the very appearance of Hornby deterred him from risking so extreme 
a measure. Constantinople was saved. 

The anchorage of the body of the fleet was presently removed 
to Touzla Bay, an inlet on the mainland, a little to the southward 
of Prince's Islands, Commerell, however, with the Agincourt and 
Swiftsure, remaining off Gallipoli to hearten the Turks there, and 
having orders to blow up the Dardanelles' forts rather than permit 
them to be occupied by the Eussians, and to prevent any Eussian 
force from embarking and crossing to the Asiatic shore. Having 
received news on March 4th that preliminaries of peace had been 
concluded on the previous day, Hornby, on the 9th, took his 
ships to pleasanter quarters off Ismid. Before Easter Lord Derby 
resigned, and the home government, adopting a firmer policy, 
authorised the naval chiefs, if necessary, to take the Turkish troops 
at Bulair into British pay, and to land officers and men for the 
defence of the lines. On the other hand, the Turkish Ministry 
became rather less anti-Russian and rather more anti-British than 
it had been ; so that the prospects of peace did not immediately 
improve. In May, Lord Beaconsfield tellingly reminded both the 
late belligerents that he was prepared to interfere, with or without 
the Turkish alliance, if necessary ; and his summoning of 10,000 
Indian troops to Malta produced a powerful impression. At about 
the same time, the battleship Devastation, Captain Walter James 
Hunt-Grubbe, C.B., Commander Charles John Balfour, took the 
place of the Sultan in the Sea of Marmora, the boilers of the latter 


ship being worn out. 1 Captain Algernon Charles Fieschi Heneage 
also superseded Captain Hewett in command of the Achilles. On June 
18th, the squadron returned to the anchorage off Prince's Islands, the 
neighbourhood of Touzla Bay being reputed unhealthy in summer. 

In the meanwhile, in order to strengthen the hands of the 
British representatives at the Congress which had been called at 
Berlin to arrange final terms of peace, the Channel Squadron/- 
under Vice-Admiral Lord John Hay (3), C.B., in the Minotaur, 
Captain Harry Holds worth Rawson, had been dispatched to the 
Mediterranean, anchored in Suda Bay, and placed under Vice- 
Admiral Hornby's orders. At the end of June, Hay was sent to 
Larnaca, in Cyprus, where presently the battleship Invincible and 
the cruiser Raleigh (both of the Mediterranean fleet) joined him. 
On July 8th the conditional cession of Cyprus to Great Britain was. 
announced in Parliament, and, on the same day, Lord John Hay- 
was directed to take possession of it. This and the decisions of 
the Congress marked the end of the period of extreme tension in 
the vicinity of the Dardanelles, although, on July 14th, the Swift- 
sure s steam-pinnace was fired upon by the Russians near Xeros, 
and two British officers were taken prisoners. General Todleben, 
the Russian commander-in-chief, offered, however, satisfactory 
explanations and regretful apologies. 

On August 6th Hornby was deservedly rewarded with a K.C.B. 
" How wonderfully complete," wrote Lord Charles Beresford, 
" your organisation must have been, as, if even a Midshipman had. 
lost his temper, he might have run the country into war." The 
San Stefano lines were evacuated by the Russians on September 
'23rd, and, in accordance with an agreement which had been arrived 
at, the fleet moved to Artaki on the 28th. There it remained until 
January 1st, 1879, when it sailed for Ismid. 

On January 2nd, while the battleship Thunderer, Captain Alfred 
John Chatfield, which had relieved the Devastation, about two 
months earlier, was practising at quarters in the Gulf of Ismid, 
one of the 12-in. 38-ton Woolwich muzzle-loaders, supposed to- 
be charged with 85 lb. 3 of powder and a common shell, burst in 

1 The Sultan turned over her officers and crew to the Jilack Prince, of the Channel. 
Squadron, at Malta on May 9. 

- The place of the Channel Squadron in home waters was taken by the Reserve- 
Squadron, under liuar-Adm. Henry Boys. 

3 The full charge was 110 lb. ; and a charge of that weight, with an empty Palliser 
shell, had, as was imagined, been fired a few minutes earlier. 


her fore-turret. The muzzle, from about two feet in front of the 
trunnions, was blown off, and terrible destruction was done. Two 
officers, Lieutenant Augustus Heyliger Coker, R.N., and Lieutenant 
Edward Daniel, E.M.A., with nine men, were killed, and thirty-five 
persons were injured. Only one of those who were in the turret 
survived. The accident seems to have been due either to double 
loading or to a shifting forward of the projectile after it had been 
hydraulically rammed home in the depressed muzzle. The com- 
mittee which reported upon the subject adopted the former theory. 1 
Lord Charles Beresford, writing to the Times, said: "that any of 
the Woolwich pattern guns could burst, except under conditions 
unfair to the gun, I do not believe." There was evidence, however, 
that flaws in the material might, in certain circumstances, cause an 
explosive burst, for on no other hypothesis can the bursting of a 
9-in. 12-ton Woolwich gun in the turret ship Wivern in 1867 be 
explained. On that occasion, although about thirteen persons were 
inside the turret, and the breech of the gun, weighing about a ton, 
was blown off, there were happily 110 casualties. ' While the great 
balance of probability indicates that the Thunderer 's gun had been 
doubly loaded by mistake, owing to a previous miss-fire during the 
discharge of an electric broadside not having been noticed, it cannot 
be said that the truth of this theory was ever demonstrated beyond 
all doubt. 

Not until March 19th, when the Russians were withdrawing from 
Adrianople, did Sir Geoffrey Hornby repass the Dardanelles. 

For many months Europe had been upon the verge of a general 
war. No individual, perhaps, did more to avert that catastrophe 
than the Vice-Admiral ; yet certainly no Englishman was more 
determined than he to champion what he conceived to be British 
interests, and to fight for them if necessary. His fine performance 
affords a good example of the old truth that obvious readiness, to 
strike more often saves than provokes a quarrel. How he would 
have fared, had he had to strike, is another question. His 
squadron, it is true, was small. On the other hand, he had under 
him, in Sir Edmund Commerell, Sir W. N. W. Hewett, Captain 
Nowell Salmon, Captain Culme-Seymour, and many others, officers 
who, in their day, were among the very best in the Navy, and who, 

1 Report issued Mar. 1, 1879. The correctness of the conclusion was to a great 
extent confirmed by experiments which were made with the sister gun at Woolwich in 
the following December and January. 


almost without exception, believed in Hornby as, so more than one 
of them has told me, they believed in no other Commander-in-Chief 
of their time. 

During the time of tension, Russia made numerous purchases, 
especially in America, of vessels suitable for service as privateers. 
Most of these were carefully watched by British cruisers. From the 
same period dates the formation of the Russian " Volunteer Fleet " 
a flotilla consisting for the most part of large and fast craft which 
are chiefly used at ordinary times as transports and storeships, but 
which carry formidable armaments in their holds, and can mount 
them promptly in case of need. 

It is not necessary to say much concerning the occupation of 
Cyprus. The ships concerned in it were the 


Minotaur, b.s W 

i V.-Adm. Lord John Hay (3). C.B. i 
/(.'apt. Harry Holdsworth Iluwson. 

Flagslrp, Channel Squad. 

Jilack 1'rincc b s. . . . . 28 

(Coin. .John Fellowes. 
jOapt. H.R.H. Dnkn of Edinburgh, K.G. ) 
[Com. liich. Kredk. Britten. 
,Capt. Algernon McLennan Lyons. 

Channel Squad. 
Channel Sqnail. 

Capt Liudesay Brine 

Medit Fleet. 

Pallas, arm!, corv. ... 8 
j;alcig_k, cr 22 

Foxlunind, g.b 4 

\Corn. \\m. Fredk. Maulev Mann, 
Capt. Hy. Hamilton Beamish, C.B, 
.('apt. Cba*. Tn-lawny .Jago. 1 
{Com. Day Hort Buwnqwt, * / 

i Lieut. Win. Hy. Geo. Nuwell. 

Medit. Fleet. 
Medit. Fleet. 

i Dptained on way home from 
I China. 

These reached the neighbourhood of the island on July 7th, 1878, 
and, after the Raleigh had been sent in to take soundings, the 
squadron anchored in Larnaca Bay on the 8th. On the 10th the 
British dispatch-vessel Salamis, 2, Commander Frederick Wilbrahani 
Egerton, arrived from Constantinople with the Pasha who had been 
empowered to transfer the island to British rule ; and on the night 
of the llth the flagship landed 53 Marines, under Captain Henry 
Holdsworth Kelly, E.M.A., to take possession of the capital, 
Nicosia. Other detachments of Royal Marines, and a force of 
bluejackets, under Lieutenant Jasper Edmund Thomson Nicolls, 
were subsequently disembarked. The honour of having first hoisted 
the British flag in the island appears to be due to Lieutenant 
Horatio Fraser Kemble, first of the Minotaur. 1 Lord John Hay 
assumed the governorship of the place pending the arrival of 
Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had been appointed to the post, and who 
quickly assumed it. 

1 A. .6 A T . Oaz., July 20, and Aug. 3, 1878. 




Troops were soon sent to the island to relieve the bluejackets 
and Marines 011 shore. An open beach was the only landing-place 
for them, but the Navy improvised facilities. That the labour 
involved in doing so w : as very arduous may be gathered from the 
fact that the working hours for the ships' companies were from 
3.15 A.M. to 9.30 P.M., with an interval of only one hour for rest, 
and that many of the men were up to their necks in water while 


EDIXBUltGII, K.C., K.T., G.C.B., K.P., O.C.S.L, O.C.M.O., C.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., A.D.C., 


(From a photo bif Duicnctj.) 

engaged in pier-building. Captain the Duke of Edinburgh person- 
ally superintended the landing of the whole of the men and stores. 
The following extract from a letter sent to the Scotsman by a non- 
commissioned officer of the 71st Highlanders gives an interesting 
glimpse of the energetic manner in which his Royal Highness threw 
himself into his work, and affords room for regret that this was one 
of the very few occasions when the lamented Prince was able 


actively to exert himself in a service which he loved ardently to the 
day of his death, twenty-two years later: 

"The order was given for the regiment to disembark at 4 A.M. on the 24th, Rnd so 
good were the arrangements (which were under the entire control of H.R.EL the Duke 
of Edinburgh) that at 4.20 A.M. there was not a 71st man left in the ship. We were 
taken on shore in large horse-boats, tugged by steam launches. As we came alongside 
the pier the first man I saw wns the Duke of Edinburgh, who was helping the men out 
of the boats. As each of us carried our valise in one hand, and our rifle in the other, 
and as there was a swell on the water, you will understand that a man jumping out is 
apt, if he does not jump at the proper time, to find himself between the pier and the 
boat, with a very ^ood chance of being drowned or crushed the next time the boat 
comes up. To prevent this, the Duke, and others with him, caught each man by the 
arm as he jumped out; and so well was this attended to that not a single man, or 
rifle, or valise fell into the water. I can assure you that it will be a long time 
before we forget the cheery word and smile his Highness had for each of us as 
he helped us on to the pier. Early as it was, the sun was blazing hot, and though we 
had our hilmets on, he had onl\ his navy cap, with a white cover on it. After we 
were all out of the boats, and when I was going to Call in with the regiment, I saw him 
amongst the baggage, directing and encouraging, all his anxiety being to get us out of 
the sun." 

What is remembered in South Africa as the Transkei, or " Old 
Colony " war, but which was, in fact, a number of small simultaneous 
campaigns against rebellious Galekas, Gaikas, Griquas, and other 
turbulent native tribes in 1877-78, was carried out mainly by the 
land forces; but the screw corvette Active, 10, Commodore Francis 
William Sullivan, C.B., 1 bore a certain share in the operations. 
Her boats having been unable to effect a landing through the surf 
.at Bowker's Bay in presence of a large body of Galekas, she turned 
her guns on the natives, and, it was said at the time, impressed 
them so powerfully that, if only their responsible leaders had been 
on the spot at the time, peace might have been then and there 
concluded. A little later, 011 January 14th, 1878, she landed a 
Naval Brigade of 196 officers, seamen, and Marines at East London, 
under Commander Henry Townley Wright. This took part in the 
action at Quintana on February 7th, and rendered most useful 
service, Lieutenant William des Vcoux Hamilton doing valuable 
work in command of the rocket party. 2 On July 3rd following the 
Commodore and his officers 3 received an address and vote of thanks 
from the House of Assembly of Cape Colony. These disturbances 

1 C. M. G. May 24, 1878. 2 Norbnry : 'The Naval Brigade in S. Africa.' 

3 The officers landed, besides those already mentioned, were Lieut. Robt. Wm. 

Craigie; Lieut. (R.M.) Townley Ward Dowding; Sub-Lieuts. Arth. Hy. Loring, Reg. 

Purves Cochran, and Lionel Aubrey Wallis Barnes-Lawrence ; Staff-Surg. Hy. Fredk. 

"JSTorbury; Gunner Hy. Bays; and Clerk Ralph I'alsom Marwood. 

1878.] THE ZULU WAR. 303 

led incidentally to the annexation of Walfisch Bay, which was 
formally taken possession of on March 12th, 1878, by Staff- 
Commander Kichard Gossan tine Dyer, of the storeship Industry, 1. 
They also, no doubt, had some effect in encouraging the Zulus to 
become restless, and actively to prosecute their ancient feuds with 
their white neighbours. 1 

Before the actual outbreak of the Zulu war, the Active again 
landed a Brigade. The detachment disembarked at Durban on 
November 19th, 1878, and proceeded to the neighbourhood of the 
Zululand boundary line, there to garrison Fort Pearson and other 
posts on the Lower Tugela with a view to preventing incursions 
into Natal. 

The Zulu question as it then stood may be thus summarised. 

Cetewayo, the king, had had a dispute of long standing with the 
South African Republic concerning some land between the Buffalo 
and the Pongola which had been occupied as Transvaal territory. 
After the annexation of the Transvaal by Great Britain, Cetewayo 
had built military kraals on that territory, and had given its 
inhabitants notice to quit. Attempts had been made to arrange 
the difficulty, with the result that a commission had been appointed, 
and had reported in June, 1878 ; but the final award had been left 
for the consideration of Sir Bartle Frere, High Commissioner for 
South Africa. 

Frere proceeded to Natal in September, 1878, and, in dealing 
with the situation, took account not only of the boundary question, 
but also of the general relations of Cetewayo with his neighbours. 
After making a careful survey of those relations, 2 which was very 
unsatisfactory, he decided that the award on the boundary question 
should be made known to Cetewayo simultaneously with certain 
demands, the concession of which was regarded as necessary for the 
welfare as well of the Zulus as of the inhabitants of Natal and the 
Transvaal. The award, which was favourable to the Zulu claims, 
and the demands, were delivered to Cetewayo's representatives on 
December llth, 1878 ; and twenty days were allowed the king for 
compliance with the most pressing requirements of the ultimatum. 
When those twenty days had expired without any sign of submission 

1 The Transvaal had been annexed to Great Britain on Apr. 12, 1877, by Sir 
Theophilus Shepstone, who continued to administer it until Mar., 1879. Great Britain, 
however, iuheiited the Boer feuds both with Cetew.iyo, of Zululand, and with Sikukuni, 
chief of the Bapidi tribe of the Bechuanas. 

2 Frere's Mem. of Jan., 1879. 


on the part of the Zulus, Sir Bartle Frere transferred the further 
.conduct of the affair to Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford. 

For some months before the delivery of the ultimatum prepa- 
rations for a struggle had been made by both the parties concerned. 
The Imperial authorities had landed troops and munitions of war at 
Durban, had called out the mounted volunteers of Natal, had formed 
three regiments of Natal natives, and had massed all their forces on 
the Zululand border, in three columns. The first of these, at the 
mouth of the Tugela, was under Colonel Pearson, and included the 
Naval Brigade from the Active. The second, or main column, under 
Colonel Glyn, had its headquarters at Helpmakaar ; the third, under 
Colonel Evelyn Wood, A'.C., had Utrecht as its base, and lay in 
territory the ownership of which was in dispute. 

Colonel Wood crossed the Blood Kiver into Zululand on Janu- 
ary 6th, 1879, and, on the 17th, moved towards the sources of the 
White Umfolosi, and thence to Kambula, where he entrenched 
himself. Colonel Glyn crossed the Buffalo at Itorke's Drift on 
January llth, gained a facile and delusive success over the Zulus 
at Usirayo's stronghold on the 12th, and then moved tediously 
towards Isandhlwana, a mountain at the base of which he encamped 
on the 20th. On the 22nd, Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Glyn 
moved out of camp to reinforce Major Dartnell, who had proceeded 
with a patrol in the direction of Matyana's stronghold ; and, during 
their absence, the rest of the column, under Colonels Pulleine and 
Durnford, about 1100 strong, was surprised, overwhelmed, and 
practically annihilated. 1 The little commissariat and hospital post 
at Eorke's Drift, ten miles to the rear, was afterwards attacked by 
the victorious Zulus, but was heroically defended by Lieutenants 
Chard, E.E., and Broinhead (24th Kegiment), until the enemy was 
beaten off, leaving 350 dead behind him. Lord Chelmsford did not 
learn what had befallen his camp until comparatively late in the 
day. On the 23rd, after having passed an anxious night in the 
devastated camp, he moved back to Eorke's Drift. 

Colonel Wood, from his post at Kambula, harried the enemy 
very successfully, though not without some reverses. Colonel 
Pearson crossed the Tugela Eiver near its mouth on January 22nd, 

1 The only representative of the Navy present at Isaudhlwana was William 
Ayusley, a signalman belonging to the Active. He was seeu, " his back against a 
waggon-wheel, keeping the Zulus at bay with his cutlass; but a Zulu crept up behind 
him, and stabbed him through the spokes." Hallam Parr : ' Sketch of the Kaffir and 
Zulu Wars.' Lieut. A. . Milne, U.K., was at the time with Lord Chelmsford. 

1878.] THE ZULU WAR. 305 

and on the same day was attacked by, and defeated, a Zulu force at 
^he Inyezane River. He then resumed his march, and next day 
reached Ekowe. 1 He had intended to move upon Cetewayo's kraal 
at Ulundi, but, upon hearing of the disaster at Isandhlwana, he 
decided to hold Ekowe fort, sending, however, his mounted troops 
back to the border. He retained about 1,300 men, inclusive of 
the Naval Brigade, and plenty of ammunition ; and he held his 
position until his relief on April 3rd. He was never attacked. 

After Isandhlwana and Eorke's Drift, Lord Chelmsford evacu- 
ated Zululand, and awaited reinforcements. At the beginning of 
April he advanced to relieve Ekowe, and, on the 2nd, defeated the 
enemy at Ginginhlovo, six miles south of the Inyezane River. 
Pearson, freed on the 3rd, returned to the Tugela. From that time 
forward no considerable action was fought until July 4th, just after 
the arrival in South Africa of Sir Garnet Wolseley to take over the 
supreme command. On that day Lord Chelmsford signally defeated 
the Zulus at Ulundi, and virtually ended the war ; and on August 
28th Cetewayo was captured in the Ingome Forest by Major 
Richard Marter, of the King's Dragoon Guards. The Zulu King 
was sent to Port Durnford, where, embarking in the transport 
Natal, under the charge of Lieutenant Crawford Caffin, he was 
escorted to Cape Town by the gunboat Forester, 4, Lieutenant 
Sidney Glenton Smith. 

The general course of the war having been thus briefly sum- 
marised, the share taken in it by the Royal Navy may be followed 
in somewhat greater detail. 

It has been mentioned that the Active disembarked a detachment 
at Durban on November 19th, 1878, and that Commodore Francis 
William Sullivan 2 sent it to the neighbouring Zululand boundary 
line. This detachment garrisoned Fort Pearson, on the Natal side 
of the mouth of the Tugela, and established and worked a pontoon, 
by which eventually Pearson's column crossed into Zululand. The 
naval force consisted of 174 blue-jackets, 42 Marines, about 14 West. 
African Kroomen, two 12-prs., one 10-barrelled Gatling gun, and 
two rocket tubes, under Commander Henry John Fletcher Camp- 
bell (acting Captain) ; Lieutenants Robert William Craigie, and 

1 Or Etshowe. 

2 Rear-Adm. Dec. 31, 1878. Soon afterwards Commod. Fredk. Wm. Richards 
arrived in the Boadicea, Sullivan, however, remaining on the station for some little 
time, and surrendering the command only on Mar. 24. 



William des Voeux Hamilton ; Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Guthrie 
Fraser ; Navigating Sub-Lieutenant John George Heugh ; Staff- 
Surgeon Henry Frederick Norbury ; Surgeon William Thompson ; 
Lieutenant (E.M.) Townley Ward Dowding; Midshipman Lewis 
Cadwallader Coker l ; and Boatswain John Cotter. Lieutenant 
Archibald Berkeley Milne, who was also landed from the Active, 
was attached as naval aide-de-camp to Lord Chehnsford's staff. 

On December 20th, 1878, the Tenedos, 12, Captain Edward 
Stanley Adeane, arrived at Durban ; and on January 1st, 1879, she 
also landed a Naval Brigade of 3 officers and 58 men, under 
Lieutenant Anthony Kingscote, who took them to the Zulu side 
of the mouth of the Tugela, and there built and garrisoned Fort 

When Colonel Pearson advanced into Zululand, he was accom- 
panied by the Active's Brigade, of the behaviour of which at the 
action of the Inyezane Kiver on January 22nd, Commander 
Campbell wrote 2 : 

"All were remarkably steady under fire. Those employed on the ridge were 
exposed to a cross fire for nearly two hours, after which they responded to my call for 
the final assault with alacrity, and led the rush till success was secured. I particularly 
recommend Lieutenant Hamilton, whose company was in front during the action. 
Sub-Lieutenant Frser also did good service in command of the reserve, being under 
fire the whole time. Boatswain Cotter was most successful with the rockets I placed 
in his ci >arge. Lieutenant Craigie . . . rendered valuable services as acting-adjutant. 
... I beg to recommend to your notice E. While, P. 0. First Clnss, who continued to 
fight afiei having been struck by a ball; B. Futcher, P. 0. First Class, who took a 
leading part in the movements; Thomas Harding, ordinary, who was the first un- 
mounted man in enemy's position." 

The Brigade had seven men wounded. 

In the meantime the disaster of Isandhlwana had struck Natal 
with panic, and had caused the Colony to fear an immediate Zulu 
invasion. When the Boadicea, 16, Commodore Frederick William 
Eichards, which had gone from England to relieve the Active, 
reached the Cape, small-pox had broken out in her, so that it was 
impossible for her to land a Brigade as promptly as she would 
otherwise have landed one. There was also small-pox in the Flora, 
guardship at Simon's Bay, so that people could not be drawn from 
her. Chelmsford's column was shattered ; Pearson's was shut up ; 
Wood's was fighting in the enemy's country ; the cry was for steady 
fighting men. It was unexpectedly answered from the sea. 

1 Died in Ekowe. Report to R.-Ad. Sullivan. 

1879.] THE ZULU WAI!. 307 

The screw iron frigate Shah, 26, Captain Eichard Bradshaw, on 
her way home from the Pacific, called at St. Helena, the Governor 
of which island, having heard of Isandhlwana, allowed him to take 
on board all the available troops, 200 in number. With them 
Bradshaw sailed for Simon's Bay on February 12th, arriving on 
February 23rd. He acted on his own responsibility, and was 
rewarded with the full approval of the Admiralty and the country. 
From Simon's Bay he was ordered up to Durban, where, on March 
7th, he disembarked 16 officers and 378 men, under Commander 
John William Brackenbury, thus at once doubling the strength of 
the naval detachments in, and on the borders of, Natal. On March 
18th the Boadicea also was able to land a Brigade of 10 officers and 
218 men, under Commander Francis Eomilly. These two detach- 
ments, together with the one from the Tenedos, joined the force 
which presently proceeded to the relief of Ekowe, where the Active's 
contingent remained shut up with Pearson. They had a con- 
spicuous share, consequently, in the battle of Ginginhlovo on April 
2nd, 1879, when Brackenbury was in command of the united 
Brigades, Commodore Richards, however, being present. 1 The 
Navy held the corners of the British square, and its guns rendered 
excellent service. The naval casualties that day were one officer 
(Staff- Surgeon William Digby Longfield) and 6 men wounded. 

On April 4th, the day after the relief of Ekowe, Acting-Captain 
Campbell, of the Active, was placed by the Commodore in command 
of the entire Brigade, then numbering upwards of 800 officers and 
men ; and he retained that position until the Active's and ShaJi's 
contingents re-embarked on July 21st ; but, up to the time of the 
general forward movement in June, Commander Brackenbury com- 
manded that part of the Brigade which remained with the advanced 
force on the Inyezane Eiver. The Tenedos's contingent had by 
that time been withdrawn, having re-embarked on May 8th. Says 
Commodore Eichards : 

" During the occupation of Fort Chelmsford, several reconnaissances were made for 
the examination of the different drifts for the passage of the Emlalazi River ; in which 
Commanders Brackenbury and Romilly, and Sub- Lieutenants (James) Startin, and 
(Arthur Hale) Smith-Dorrien tok part. These reconnaissances were made under fire. 
The division encamped on the Emlalazi plain on tlie coast, at the position known as 
Port Durnford ; and, on the arrival of the Forester with the surf-boats, and of store- 
ships, for the purpose of opening communications with the shore at that place, the 

1 Richards's disps. of Apr. 11, and Sept. 13, 1879. The Royal Marines were 
commanded in the battle by Capt. Joseph Philips, R.M.L.T. 

x 2 


services of the Brigade were immediately put in requisition for this operation ; and so 
well was the work done that in three weeks' time over 2000 tons of commissariat and 
ordnance stores had been landed on the open beach, to the entire relief of the land 

The last naval contingent to re-embark was that from the 
Boadicea, which returned to its ship on July 31st. The only other 
vessel which had any of her people serving ashore during the war 
was the Flora, which sent two officers to the front on April 20th ; 
but it may be mentioned that two members of the Eoyal Naval 
Artillery Volunteers went up country at their own expense, and 
joined the Active s Brigade, and that some others attached them- 
selves to other commands. A Eoyal Marine battalion sent out from 
England was so unfortunate as to land in Africa too late to partici- 
pate in the final actions of the campaign. It was also a matter of 
great disappointment to both the Royal Navy and the Eoyal Marines 
that they were not represented at the battle of Ulundi, save by 
Lieutenant A. B. Milne, who still served as Lord Chelmsford's 
aide-de-camp, and who was wounded ; but they had the satisfaction, 
previous to their re-embarkation, of being inspected by Sir Garnet 
Wolseley, who, in his General Order, declared : 

"The conduct of the men has been admirable, and their bearing in action in every 
way worthy of the service to which they belong, while they have worked hard and 
cheerfully in their laborious duties, which constitute so important a part of all military 

The Forester, 4, Lieutenant Sidney Glenton Smith, made herself 
indispensable in surveying the coast with a view to finding suitable 
landing-places for troops and supplies ; and she enabled Port 
Durnford to be utilised as a base. Her second visit to that 
neighbourhood was made on April 22nd. On the 24th, when the 
gunboat was lying off Port Durnford, and two of her boats were 
sounding close in shore, a large body of Zulus suddenly appeared 
and opened fire from the beach. The boats retired, firing as they 
went ; and the Forester then shelled the coast and bush, killing a 
number of cattle, and probably causing other casualties. 1 

The transport service during the war was managed mainly by 
Captain Guy Ouchterlony Twiss, Commander Edward Henry Meggs 
Davis, Lieutenants Crawford Caffm, and Frederick Streatfield Pelly, 
Staff-Surgeon James Hamilton Martin, and Paymaster William 
Besley Eamsey (all borne in the Boadicea), and by Lieutenant 
Alexander Milne Gardiner, of the Shah. Among the numerous 

1 Xatal Mercury. 

1877.] CAFFIN AT TANNA. 309 

officers whose names were mentioned in the dispatches, the 
following were rewarded with honours or promotion : 

To be K.C.B. : Rear-Admiral Francis William Sullivan, Nov. 27, 1879. 

To be C.B. : Captains Frederick William Richards, Richard Bradshaw, Henry 

John Fletcher Campbell, and Fleet-Surgeon Henry Frederick Norbury, 

Nov. 27, 1879. 
To be C.M.G. : Captains Edward Stanley Adeane, and John William Brackenbury, 

Dec. 19, 1879. 

To be Captain : Commander Henry John Fletcher Campbell, July 3, 1879. 
To be Commanders : Lieutenants Crawford Caffin, and Anthony Kingscote, 

July 3, 1879, and Frederick Ralph Carr, 1 and Robert William Craigie, 

Nov. 6, 1879. 
To be Lieutenants : Sub-Lieutenants James Startin, and Thomas Guthrie Eraser, 

and Navigating Sub-Lieutenant John George Heugh, Nov. 6, 1879. 
To be Chief-Bontswain : Boatswain John Cotter, Nov. 6, 1879. 
To be Major, R.M. : Captain Joseph Philips, R.M., Nov. 9, 1879. 
To be Captain, R.M. : Lieutenant Townley Ward Dowding, R.M., Nov. 15, 1879. 
To be Fleet-Surgeons: Staff-Surgeons Henry Frederick Norbury, and William 

Digby Longfield, July 3, 1879. 

In 1878 much needless importance was given, in Parliament and 
elsewhere, to an incident which had occurred at Tanna, in the New 
Hebrides, in September, 1877. The schooner Beagle, 1, Lieutenant 
Crawford Caffin, had proceeded thither in order to make inquiries 
with respect to the murder of a white man named W. Easterbrook ; 
had demanded the murderer from the head men of the village of 
Numukur ; had been refused ; and, in concert with the commander 
of the schooner Benard, 1, Lieutenant Horace John Moore Pugh, 
had seized a number of hostages. As a result, one Nokwai, a 
younger brother and accomplice of the actual murderer, had been 
surrendered, though the chief criminal, Yuhmaga, had not been 
given up. Nokwai had thereupon been sentenced to death, and on 
September 25th bad been hanged at the fore yard-arm of the Beagle. 
Before dying the prisoner had admitted his guilt. 2 

In his comments to the Admiralty on the case, Commodore 
Anthony Hiley Hoskins, while expressing the opinion that Caffin's 
proceedings deserved general approval, had added : 

"that it would have been more satisfactory had the man executed been the actual 
murderer, Yuhmaga, and had it been clearly established that Easterbrook was free from 
all imputation of having given provocation. I also think that it would have been 
better in any case that the execution should have taken place on shore if possible, on 
the scene of the murder : and I purpose so informing Lieut. Caffin." 

Upon these facts certain well-meaning people based an agitation 
which lasted for five or six months. Eventually it was decided that 
1 Gazetted, but subsequently cancelled. 2 Caffin to Hoskins, Sept. 26, 1877. 


Lieutenant Caffin was not deserving of censure, but that, upon the 
whole, it was undesirable that executions of the kind which had 
taken place should be carried out on board H.M. ships. 1 

The London, store ship at Zanzibar, to which Captain Hamilton 
Edward George Earle was appointed in the summer of 1878, 
continued to be invaluable as a centre of operations against the 
slave trade. Her boats were unceasingly active, and on several 
occasions her officers and men were under fire. A petty officer 
named Cornelius Duggan specially distinguished himself. In a 
dinghy, with one seaman, William Clark, only, he was stationed one 
night to watch a channel between an outlying island and Peniba, 
with a view to noting whether slaves were being removed from the 
former. In the small hours, two canoes full of people suddenly 
quitted the small island. Although his possible opponents 2 were at 
least thirty or forty in number, Duggan instantly gave chase. The 
Arabs opened fire, and several bullets struck the dinghy, while one 
passed through Duggan's clothes. The pursuit was, however, most 
pluckily persisted in, until one of the dinghy's oars broke ; where- 
upon Duggan and his companion had to content themselves with 
emptying their revolvers after the fugitives. 3 At about the same 
time Sub-Lieutenant Neville Edmund Cornwall Legh behaved with 
great gallantry in an affair at Uzi, and also made numerous 
captures of slaves at Pemba. 

Early in 1879 the white inhabitants of Sitka, in the United 
States' territory of Alaska, had reason to fear that their Indian 
neighbours were about to rise and massacre them, and, having 
in vain petitioned their own government for assistance, sent an 
urgent appeal for help to the senior British naval officer at 
Esquimalt, the result being that in February the Osprey, 6, 
Commander the Hon. Henry Holmes a'Court, was ordered to the 
threatened spot, where she remained until the arrival on the scene 
of a United States' corvette. During the Osprey 1 s presence off the 
coast, her commander was boastingly informed by the Indians that, 
whenever they might choose to do so, they could make themselves 
masters of the little United States' revenue steamer Oliver Wolcott 
which lay there. To prevent the possibility of anything of the sort, 
a'Court, by permission of the American naval officer in charge of 

1 Procs. of Ho. of Com., Aug. 5, 1878. 

2 About half seem to have been slaves, and half Arab dealers and their men. 

3 Corr. in A. and N. Gazette, Dec. 14 and Dec. 28, 1878. 

1879.] POLICE WORK. 311 

the feeble craft, put a body of British bluejackets and a Gatling gun 
on board of her to supplement her crew ; and with these the Oliver 
Wolcott undertook an expedition to intercept some war canoes 
belonging to the turbulent chiefs. 1 

In the Pacific several small punitive expeditions were undertaken 
by her Majesty's ships in the course of 1879. A boat's crew 
belonging to the British trader Mystery had been massacred by the 
natives of Aoba, or Lepers' Island, in the New Hebrides, and there 
had been other murders of white men in the Louisiade Archipelago 
and elsewhere. The vessels employed were the Cormorant, 6, 
Commander James Andrew Thomas Brace, which visited, among 
other places, Brooker Island, New Guinea, and Brother Island, 
shelling and burning villages at each ; the Wolverene, 17, Commodore 
John Crawford Wilson; Conflict, 1, schooner, Lieutenant John 
George Musters ; and Beagle, 1, schooner, Lieutenant Thomas 
de Hoghton, which proceeded to Aoba, Marau Sound, and the 
Louisiades; and the Danae, 12, Captain John Child Purvis (2), 
which also went to Marau Sound, in the Solomon Islands. Wilson 
spared the Marau natives, understanding that they had already been 
sufficiently dealt with by traders, but inflicted severe punishment 
at Ferguson Island, and in the Louisiades. Purvis, being subse- 
quently despatched to Marau Sound, where, after all, the people 
had not been taught a sufficiently instructive lesson, destroyed some 
villages and canoes, but suffered a loss of one killed and two 
wounded. 2 

Elsewhere some useful police work was done in the same year 
by the Boxer, 4, Commander Arthur Hildebrand Alington, first on 
the west coast of Africa, where the gun-vessel was employed to 
lodge a protest against the French occupation of the island of 
Matacong, was engaged in the delimitation of the Liberian 
boundary, and hoisted the British flag on the Scarcies Eiver ; and 
subsequently off the coast of Haiti, where, in the summer, a 
revolution was in progress. At Port-au-Prince, besides protecting 
British interests, she embarked a number of refugees, including a 
rebel leader who had sought shelter in the British consulate ; and 
more than once, while lying there, she was threatened with attack 

1 A. and N. Gazette, Mar. 22 and Apr. 12, 1879 : Corr. of Times and Hampshire 

2 A. and N. Gazette, Mar. 29, Apr. 19, May 24, Aug. 16 and 30, Sept. 6, and 
Dec. 6, 1879. 


from the shore. Unhappily, owing to the insanitary condition of 
the town and of the people whom she saved from it, yellow fever 
attacked her officers and crew, and carried off, among others, 
Lieutenant Edward Henry Arden, and Paymaster James King Bell. 
The Decoy, 4, Lieutenant Victor Edward John Brenton von Donop, 
in the earlier half of 1879, rendered useful police service in the 
Coanza Kiver, where the negroes had risen and murdered two white 
people and several natives. 

More serious business fell to the lot of another vessel of the 
West African command, the Pioneer, 6, paddle, Lieutenant John 
Leslie Burr. In April, 1879, she proceeded into the Scarcies River 
with a force under Governor Howe, of Sierra Leone, in order to 
re-hoist the British flag, which had been hoisted there in March by 
the Boxer in face of some opposition, and which had afterwards 
been hauled down by the natives. The island of Kikoukeh, which 
was the chief point annexed, was occupied as a set-off to Matacong, 
which, a short time before, had been annexed by the French. 
Lieutenant Burr had some trouble with the natives, who resented 
the seizure of their territory ; but he managed the affair with 
singular success. A little later he took his ship about 700 miles up 
the River Niger, carrying presents from the imperial and colonial 
governments for the Emir of Nupi. On his return he attacked and 
destroyed the village of Onitsha, the inhabitants of which, not for 
the first time, had murdered British traders and committed other 
outrages ; and, making a short overland expedition, he burnt 
another town about three miles from the river. The effect of his 
action was excellent, and earned him the thanks of the African 
Company, which also presented him with a piece of plate. 1 

The African slave-trade languished, though a few captures of 
dhows were made upon the east coast, especially by the Spartan, 12, 
Captain Richard Edward Tracey, by the Vestal, 9, Commander 
Dashwood Goldie Tandy, and by the boats of the London, Captain 
Hamilton Edward George Earle. In the Malay Archipelago, 
however, the kidnapping piratical tribes, the Balinini and Illanuns, 
were so active in seizing fishermen whom they subsequently sold 
as slaves along the east coast of Borneo, that, at the desire of 
Governor Treacher, of Labuan, the Kestrel, 4, Commander Frederick 
Edwards, proceeded against them in August, 1879. Having traced 
certain outrages to the inhabitants of the Balinini village of 
1 Disps., and A. and N. Gazette, June 7, Dec. 6, Dec. 20, 1879. 




Tarrebas, Edwards invited the local chief to pay him a visit on 
board the gun-vessel. The man made excuses, and declined to 
appear ; whereupon, after due notice had been given, Tarrebas, and 
about fifteen piratical craft, many of which had bullet-proof 
bulwarks of iron-wood, were burnt. 1 Shortly afterwards, with the 
Encounter, 14, Captain the Hon. Albert Denison Somerville 
Denison, the Kestrel took part in a demonstration in the Larut 
River, on the west coast of the Malay peninsula, with a view to 
overawing the natives who threatened disturbances. 

Early in 1880 the Eoyal Navy sustained a disaster somewhat 
similar to the loss of the Eurydice in 1878. 2 The sixth-rate 
Atalanta, employed on training service, sailed from Bermuda for 
England on February 1st and was never heard of again. On 
June '29th a reward was offered by the Admiralty for information 
concerning her, but it was never claimed. There were lost in the 
ship Captain Francis Stirling, the crew of 113 officers and men, and 
170 ordinary seamen who were under training. A committee which 
was appointed to inquire into the vessel's efficiency reported 3 to the 
effect that : the A talanta was sound when she left England for the 
West Indies in November, 1879 ; she was on the whole a very stable 
ship, save at large angles of keel ; Captain Stirling was most able 
and experienced ; the other officers had been carefully chosen ; and 
nothing could be more satisfactory than the character of the crew. 
All that is known and that bears on her fate is that storms of 
exceptional violence raged at that time in the part of the Atlantic 
which she would have had to cross. Just before her last cruise the 
ship had been very thoroughly repaired in the dockyards. The 
original estimate had been 11,000, but it had grown to 28,000. 
As the Atalanta had been built in 1844, and as it was estimated that 
a new ship of the class could be had for 36,000, it was naturally 
argued at the time that she was not worth so large an expenditure. 
From a comparison of her dimensions with those of the Eurydice 


Length between 

L r e oTna r "> 

nnth Builder's 

Atalanta, . 

Ft. in. 

Ft. in. 
107 2 

Ft. in. 

40 3 

Ft. in. 

10 10 



Eurydice . 

141 3 

117 10 

38 4 

8 9 


Straits Times in A. and N. Gazette, Nov. 8, 1879. 2 See Appendix of Ships Lost. 
3 Sessional Papers, 1881. Report of Atalanta Committee. 


it will be seen that the Atalanta should have had considerable 
advantage in point of stability. 1 

In the same year the Eastern question once more necessitated 
action on the part of the great Powers. It had been decided at 
the Berlin Conference that Turkey should hand over Dulcigno to 
Montenegro ; but, although the resources of diplomacy had been 
exhausted, the Porte still refused to carry that decision into effect. 
England, therefore, proposed, and France, Russia, Austria, and 
Italy agreed, that a combined naval demonstration should be made 
off the Albanian coast, there being an understanding that no troops 
were to be landed. It was further agreed to regard as commander- 
in-chief the senior flag-officer present,' 2 and thus Vice-Admiral Sir 
Frederick Beauchamp Seymour, then in command of the British 
Mediterranean fleet, assumed command of the allied squadrons at 
Ragusa on September 20th, 1880. The ships of the Royal Navy 
present were the Alexandra and Temeraire, ironclads, with the Condor, 
gun-vessel, and the despatch-boat Helicon. The display was enough. 
Negotiations followed, and on November 26th Dulcigno was handed 
over to Montenegro. Consequent on this it was determined that 
the squadrons should part company after communicating their 
respective destinations ; and on December 5th the force dispersed. 

Early in 1881 the sloop Wild Swan, 6, Commander Seymour 
Henry Pelham Dacres, was ordered to cooperate with the Portu- 
guese authorities, who were making efforts to suppress the slave 
trade which had long been carried on by the Makuas of the 
Mozambique coast. With that object she left Zanzibar on 
January 22nd, and proceeded down the coast to Chuluwan, subse- 
quently moving, in company with some Portuguese gunboats, to 
Conducia Bay, where she arrived on February 12th. A Portuguese 
landing-party, which was presently disembarked, was accompanied 
by Commander Dacres, Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Henry Stuart 
Elwes, Clerk Warwick Arthur Green, and three men from the 
sloop ; but the only important work done by the British was 
accomplished by the Wild Swan's guns, and by that vessel's 
rocket apparatus in her steam cutter. 3 The behaviour of the 
Portuguese on shore was not good ; and, had it not been for the 
support afforded by the ships, the landed force would have met 
with serious disaster. 

1 Brassey, ' British Fleet,' iv. 434. '' Times, Sept. 13, 1880, etc. 

3 A.& N. Gaz., Feb. 26, Mar. 12 and 26, 1881 ; Letters of Offrs. 

1881.] LAING'S NEK. 315 

On December 16th, 1880, the Boers of the Transvaal, after a 
brief experience of British rule, 1 had re-proclaimed the South 
African Republic, and then, without delay, had laid siege to nearly 
all the British military posts in the country. 

General Sir George Pomeroy Colley, who, at the time, was 
governor and commander-in-chief in Natal, and high commissioner 
for South-East Africa, began immediate preparations, though on 
a very inadequate scale, for the relief of the threatened towns 
and the suppression of rebellion, and, while collecting such military 
forces as were within reach, appealed for help from the Navy. 
The appeal reached Commodore Frederick William Eichards, C.B., 
of the Boadicea, 16, a few hours after that vessel's arrival off 
Durban, on January 5th, 1881, and was instantly and loyally 
responded to. On the following day Commander Francis Eomilly, 
of the Boadicea, with whom were Lieutenants Cornwallis Jasper 
Trower, and Eeginald Purves Cochran, and Sub-Lieutenant 
Augustus Lennox Scott, accompanied by Surgeon Edward Elphin- 
stone Mahon, of the Flora, guardship at Simon's Bay, landed 
with 124 petty officers and men, two Gatling machine-guns, and 
a couple of rocket-tubes, and proceeded to Pietermaritzburg, there 
to place himself under Colley's orders. a 

The morning of January 28th, 1881, found the combined force 
encamped at Mount Prospect, inside a spur of the Draakensberg, 
opposite, and about four miles distant from, the pass of Laing's 
Nek, where the Boers were known to be in force and to have 
erected defences. At 6 A.M. camp was struck : two companies 
of infantry, and Lieutenant Cochran, with 40 Boadicea' s and the 
two Gatlings, were left behind to hold three entrenched positions 
for the defence of the laager ; and at 6.10 A.M., Colley, with the 
remaining 1211 officers and men, 3 moved forward to the attack. 
The Boadicea's 4 officers and 84 men, with their rocket-tubes, were 
in the centre of the column. 

At 9 A.M. Colley, with whom was the Commodore, placed his 
guns on an undulating ridge facing the Nek, and 2200 yards from 
it, and ordered Eomilly and his detachment to take up a station 
in advance. Behind knolls above and to the right, and about 

1 Consequent upon the annexation by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, who, in 1877, had 
been sent into the country, and who saw no other way of protecting the settlers against 
the natives. 

- Parl. Papers, 1831. Vol. LXVII. contains three Blue Books on S. Afr. 

3 Besides 196 horses and 9 guns. 


1700 yards off, bodies of Boers could be seen. Only on the left 
was the position assailable. A mealie field and the garden of a 
farm house enabled the Naval Brigade finally to bring its rocket- 
tubes within about 1500 yards from the pass, and to post a 
covering party in skirmishing order along a stone wall where, 
to the right, the line was continued by a company of the 60th 
Bines. Half an hour later, when these dispositions had been 
completed, the guns and rocket-tubes opened upon the enemy ; 
and, as soon as it was supposed that the bombardment had shaken 
the Boers, the British infantry and mounted troops charged up a 
grassy spur on the right of the Nek to assault the left of the 
hostile entrenchments. For a time success seemed possible ; yet 
the Boers fired so well and so heavily that soon the troops were 
driven down again with serious loss, nearly all the mounted officers 
falling. The enemy not only followed up, but also appeared on 
the British right. The Naval Brigade sent rockets in the latter 
direction, and presently found itself engaged on both flanks as 
well as in front. But for the stone wall, it must have lost heavily. 
As a matter of fact, it had only two killed, 1 ere it was ordered to 
fall back on the guns. 

After the retirement had been effected, a flag of truce was sent 
out, and the dead and wounded were brought in. At 4 P.M., the 
force returned to camp, and learnt from Lieutenant Cochran that, 
during its absence, a body of 400 Boers had reconnoitred the 
laager, but had moved away without attacking. Colley, in his 
despatch, expressed his indebtedness to Commodore Richards and 
the Brigade, and made special laudatory mention of Surgeon 
Mahon, Lieutenant Trower, and Sub-Lieutenant Scott. 2 

The general decided to remain at Mount Prospect until rein- 
forcements, which were on their way in the transports Euphrates, 
Crocodile, and Tamar, could reach the front ; and, in the mean- 
time, at his request, Commodore Richards caused an additional 
50 men, with two field-guns, to disembark from the Boadicea and 
the Dido, 3 under Lieutenant Henry Asgill Ogle, of the latter 
vessel. 4 These men, however, did not join until after February 
8th, when Colley fought the battle of Ingogo with the object of 

1 Including Gunner's Mate Henry Ransome, who was mentioned in desps. 

2 Colley to Sec. for War, Feb. 1, 1881. 

3 Captain Compton Edward Domvile. 

4 Richards to Admlty., Feb. 7, 1881. 

1881.] MAJUBA. 317 

keeping open his communications with Newcastle. In that un- 
fortunate action the Naval Brigade had no share. 

The Boers made no important advance, but concentrated most 
of their energies upon the strengthening of the works in the pass 
leading from Natal into the Transvaal. Dominating the western 
extremity of their lines was the flat-topped hill of Majuba, which, 
nevertheless, they made no attempt to hold. Colley, reinforced 
during the second and third weeks of February, came to the 
conclusion that Majuba was the key to the enemy's position, and, 
in an evil hour, decided to occupy it with a detachment which 
proved utterly inadequate to the end in view. 

At 10 P.M., therefore, on February 26th, the general in person 
moved from Mount Prospect with 554 officers and men only, 
including 64 petty officers and men of the Navy under Commander 
Eomilly, Lieutenant Trower, Sub-Lieutenant Scott, and Surgeon 
Mahon. Neither guns nor rocket-tubes were taken. Small though 
the original detachment was, three companies which had left camp 
with it were dropped at various points to guard the line of com- 
munications, so that but four companies and the little Naval 
Brigade reached the front. 

The top of the hill was reached by a very precipitous route ; 
but all the men were at their assigned stations by 4 -A.M. on 
Sunday, the 27th, there having been no opposition whatsoever. 
A section of the Brigade, under Lieutenant Trower, remained 
near that end of the mountain where the ascent had been made. 
The rest of the force was placed in a hollow at the end closest 
to the Boer lines ; and at dawn the enemy's laagers could be 
seen below. The summit was not entrenched, in spite of the 
fact that its conformation was such that the people holding it 
could not properly command the exterior slopes without danger- 
ously exposing themselves; and an extraordinary degree of over- 
confidence seems to have prevailed. 

Soon after daylight the Boers showed some signs of activity 
about the base of Majuba, and steady firing followed ; but for a 
time it did not look as if any serious object had occurred to the 
enemy, who, on the other hand, was deemed to be throwing 
away his ammunition. Sub-Lieutenant Scott, with the second 
section of the Naval Brigade, was presently sent to line the edge 
of the mountain top in the rear, and, a little later, part of the 
58th Regiment was withdrawn from the left, where its post was 


taken by portions of the first and second sections. The men lay 
down under good cover, seeing very little of the Boers, most of 
whom appeared to be out of range, and firing seldom. Trower 
and Scott were with them. So also was Eomilly during great 
part of the morning; but at about 11 A.M. a dozen men were 
ordered to be sent from the left to the front, and Eomilly went 
across to fetch them. In returning, the gallant Commander was 
shot through the body, and fell close to the general. Mahon 
attended to the mortally wounded officer, who presently was 
carried into the hollow, out of reach of gun-fire. At about that 
time, Scott, with six men, was stationed by Trower on a ledge 
about twenty feet below the summit on the right side of the 
mountain, near the track by which the ascent had been made. 

During the whole of the morning, and more especially during 
the half hour or so after noon, the people on the top of Majuba 
had their attention held by the general firing, and failed to see 
that a small force of Boers was working its way stealthily up 
the mountain, covered by the much larger force below. Shortly 
before 1 P.M., the firing increased greatly. Hearing that the 
enemy was close at hand, Scott ventured to take his men from 
the ledge, and lead them to the point which appeared to be most 
threatened. He found the 92nd Highlanders and part of the 
58th Begirnent firing on the foe, who was then nearing the top, 
but he was at once ordered back by the general. A few moments 
later the Boers gained the summit, and the British began a retreat 
which soon became a rout. Colley, until he fell, shot through 
the head, and his officers, did all that lay in their power to stem 
the panic ; but the frightened troops were not to be stayed. Many 
rushed at break-neck speed down the almost precipitous sides of 
the mountain, exposed to a terrible fire from the Boers, and, for 
the most part, losing their arms in the descent. Seeing how few 
in number were the assailants, the flight is one of the most extra- 
ordinary in history. It can be explained only by the completeness 
of the surprise, and by the men's sudden realisation of the fact 
that no due precautions had been taken by their own leaders. 

Earlier in the day a hospital had been established behind a 

ridge of rocks near the centre of the plateau. The enemy crowned 

the rocks, and fired upon all indiscriminately, 1 shooting down a 

doctor while he was caring for the wounded. Perceiving how 

1 Mahon to Richards, Mar. 4. 

1881.] MAJUBA. 319 

things had gone, Surgeon Mahon, who but lately had quitted 
Eomilly in order to cross to the hospital, returned to his Com- 
mander's side, and, to save further slaughter of the wounded 
and non-combatants, hoisted a white flag. All the fugitives, how- 
ever, were not then clear of the top, and firing continued on the 
summit. To avoid the bullets, Mahon, and Assistant Sick-Berth 
Attendant Bevis, who was with him, lay down till the plateau 
was clear of their flying friends, and until the enemy was within 
a few paces from them. When they rose, they were not molested, 
and were suffered to carry poor Eomilly to the hospital from the 
point where he had lain sheltered on the south-west front. 

Throughout that afternoon and the following night Mahon 
remained on the mountain, seeking out and attending to the 
wounded, and receiving much kindly help from the enemy. He 
took upon himself to send four blue-jacket prisoners to carry 
Eomilly back to camp ; but, soon after they had started, they 
were ordered back by the enemy, the result being that the un- 
fortunate Commander had to lie in the open during the whole of 
the wet, dark, and chilly night of the 27th. At 6 A.M. on the 
28th, Lieutenant Cochran came up from camp with a burial 
party, and with stretchers and medical comforts. Of the fifty- 
three men who were buried on the summit, ten belonged to the 
Naval Brigade. But these were not the whole of the naval 
casualties. The Boadicea lost Lieutenant Trower l and 10 men 
killed, and Commander Eomilly and 5 men mortally wounded. 
The Dido lost 3 men killed. In addition, 10 Boadicea's and 3 
Dido's were wounded; so that of the total naval force engaged, 
33 (being practically 50 per cent.) were put out of action. 2 

Trower's body was found on the extreme ridge, and, being 
taken back to camp, was buried there. Eomilly 3 died on March 
2nd. A Boer commandant pointed out to Cochran the bodies of 
two men who had most bravely stood their ground and perished 
there. They were those of George Hammond and Samuel 
Witheridge, quartermasters, E.N. Mahon, who reached camp 
at 5 P.M. on the 28th, with five ambulances full of wounded, 
behaved throughout with magnificent devotion and gallantry, and 

1 Lieut., Apr. 28, 1876. 

2 Admlty. to Col. Off., May 2, enclosing Richards to Admlty. of Mar. 14, covering 
Ogle to Richards, Mar. 3, and Scott to Ogle, Mar. 1, 1881. 

5 Com., Apr. 14, 1877. 


was specially promoted. 1 In the opinion of all those who were 
left on the fatal hill, he deserved the Victoria Cross. 

Upon the death of General Colley, the command of the troops 
devolved temporarily upon General Sir Evelyn Wood; and 011 
March 4th, Captain Compton Edward Domvile, of the Dido, went 
up from Durban to take charge of the remnant of the Naval 
Brigade. On the same day a detachment of 50 seamen, who had 
been sent out in the Danube"' to fill vacancies, left for the front 
under Lieutenants George Morris Henderson, and Andrew Henry 
Farrell Duncan. Sir Evelyn Wood went from Newcastle back 
to Pietermaritzburg, where he assumed for the nonce the functions 
of governor of Natal ; but ere the new permanent governor and 
commander-in-chief, General Sir Frederick Sleigh Eoberts, arrived 
on the scene, Wood had held a prolonged conference with the Boer 
general, Piet Joubert, and had concluded an armistice, which 
resulted, on March 24th, in a peace. 

This is not the place in which to enter into any wide criticism 
either of the tactics pursued by the British leaders in the field, or 
of the policy directed by Mr. Gladstone's government at home. 
Colley paid for his negligence and his contempt for the enemy with 
his life : Mr. Gladstone, who was animated by motives some at 
least of which were doubtless excellent, but who was congenitally 
incapable of understanding the Boer character, patched up an 
unsatisfactory arrangement which, it was generally felt, could not 
be lasting. In spite of what had happened at Laing's Nek, Majuba, 
and elsewhere, the Boers might have been brought to reason with 
comparative ease in March. They did not realise that fact, and 
they mistook British generosity and quixotism for pusillanimity. 
Less than twenty years later, both parties had to pay a frightful 
price for their misapprehensions. Yet in 1881, as in the subsequent 
struggle, the Navy, happily, had nothing with which to reproach 
itself. 3 

The Doterel, 6-gun sloop of 1,137 tons, while at anchor off 
Sandy Point, Straits of Magellan, was destroyed by an explosion 
on April 26th, 1881. Commander Richard Evans, Lieutenant John 
Martin Stokes, three other officers, and seven men were saved, but 
the rest of the crew of 156 perished. The ship was a new one, 

1 Staff-Surgeon, July 18, 1881. 2 Merchant steamer. 

3 Among naval officers who did good service in Natal in connection with transport 
work were Capt. Hilary Gustavus Andoe and Lieut. Edward Chichester. 

1881-82. J ARABICS REBELLION. 321 

being then on passage to the Pacific station for her maiden com- 
mission. Commander Evans reported that the explosion had been 
so sudden and destructive that there was no possibility of lowering 
boats to save life. He, with the surviving officers and men, was 
acquitted of all blame by the finding of the court - martial, 
September 3rd, 1881. l It was decided that the destruction of the 
ship had been due to an explosion of gas given off by coal in the 
bunkers, and that this had communicated with the fore magazine, 
causing that also to explode. It was never proved how the explo- 
sions had originated, but it was suggested that, as the ship had been 
about to complete with coal, a light may have been introduced into 
one of the bunkers. Another theory was that the disaster had 
originated with a spontaneous explosion of xerotine siccative, a 
material which, on November 23rd of the same year, undoubtedly 
brought about an explosion in the Triumph, off Coquimbo, and 
caused the loss of three lives. 

The history of the most serious naval operation in which British 
men-of-war were engaged during the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century has next to be followed. 

Owing to the extravagance of the Khedive, Ismail Pasha, the 
finances of Egypt had fallen into great disorder ; and, in November, 
1875, partly in order to relieve them, and partly to strengthen the 
interests of Great Britain in a country which lay on the direct route 
to India, Lord Beaconsfield's administration, acting on the advice 
of Mr. Frederick Greenwood, had purchased, for 4,080,000, the 
shares in the Suez Canal held by Ismail. The bondholders did not 
greatly benefit ; and in 1876, first Mr. Cave, and afterwards Messrs. 
Goschen and Joubert, made certain recommendations which, in 
September, 1878, resulted in the appointment of Mr. Eivers Wilson 
as Minister of Finance, and of M. de Blignieres as Minister of 
Public Works, the object being the control by Europeans of the 
inordinate expenditure. The Khedive soon found their interference 
irksome, and he dismissed them in April, 1879 ; whereupon the Great 
Powers, acting in the interests of the bondholders, called upon the 
Sultan to depose his vassal, who was accordingly dethroned in June. 
Ismail retired to Naples with an immense fortune, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Mohammed Tewfik. To liquidate the debt, and 
to effect various reforms, the Anglo-French, or " Dual " control was 

1 Times, Aug. 27 and Sept. 5, 1881. 


established, with Messrs. Evelyn Baring l and de Blignieres as 

Great Britain and France, the two Powers chiefly interested 
in the well-being of Egypt, did not pull well together; and their 
jealousies encouraged the gradual formation of a popular party which 
had for its motto, " Egypt for the Egyptians." Owing to the growing 
strength and machinations of this party, and to the manner in which 
its propaganda appealed to the army, there were two significant 
mutinies in 1881. The second of these was ended only by the 
resignation of the ministry, and the appointment of a new one, 
which presently gave to Arabi Pasha, the leader of the Egyptian 
party, the post of under-secretary for war, and, through an 
" Assembly of Notables," claimed a right to regulate the budget in 
defiance of the control. Among the agitators there were, no doubt, 
men of sterling patriotism, as well as others of more selfish aims ; 
but, having regard to the huge indebtedness of Egypt, the Powers 
were bound to guard their own interests, and could not afford to 
allow the untried and headstrong Egyptian party to seize the 
reins of government. In the next ministry, Arabi took the post of 
minister for war ; and on May 10th, upon his initiative, the chamber 
repudiated the authority of the Khedive, who was regarded as the 
creature of the Powers. Great Britain and France threatened to 
intervene, and Arabi was obliged to resign ; but on May 27th, he 
was reinstated, practically as dictator. He then set to work to 
strengthen and modernise the fortifications of Alexandria, where, in 
spite of the presence off the port of an international squadron, a 
rising against Europeans took place on June llth. 2 This led to 
the departure from the city of most of the foreign residents ; while 
the Khedive became, for the time, the unwilling tool of Arabi. 

But for international jealousies, matters would never have grown 
so serious. If clear injunctions had been given at an early stage 
both to the French and to the British naval commanders on the spot, 
the " national " movement might have been crushed without much 
difficulty or bloodshed ; but France was playing a double game, and, 
while willing enough to profit by any action which might be taken 
in defence of the interests of the bondholders, shrank although she 
would not confess it until the last moment 3 from being implicated 

1 Afterwards Lord Cromer. 

2 Among the 68 Europeans who were killed on the occasion were Engineer James 
Pibworth, of the Superb, and two men belonging to the Helicon. 

s The French Squadron withdrew to Port Said just previous to the bombardment. 


in what many of her people regarded as something like a tyrannical 
repression of the vox populi in Egypt. Puzzled hy the hesitations 
of French diplomacy, the British cabinet pursued an unsteady 
course for some time ; and, at last, took action alone. 

The British fleet lying before Alexandria in July, 1882, under the 
command of Admiral Sir Frederick Beau champ Paget Seymour, 
G.C.B., was as given in the Table on the following page. 

Some days before hostilities were decided upon, the Invincible, 
Monarch, and Penelope lay inside the harbour of Alexandria. The 
Alexandra drew too much water to get in with ease ; and Seymour 
temporarily shifted his flag from her to the Invincible, not only in 
order to be as close at hand as possible during the negotiations, but 
also to be able to exercise a personal supervision over the Egyptians, 
and to prevent them from laying down mines, of which they had a 
large number in readiness. 

After the riotous outbreak of June llth, Arabi's officers began 
systematically to strengthen the works lying along the neck of land 
which separates Lake Mareotis from the sea, and to mount additional 
guns in them. Seymour remonstrated, and demanded that the 
operations should be stopped. He was informed in reply that no 
operations of the kind mentioned were in progress ; and appeals were 
made to his humanity, the foreign consuls backing these up with 
assurances that if he should bombard the place, as he had threatened to 
do in case of non-compliance, neutral property would inevitably suffer. 
In the meantime, labour at the batteries went on night after night, 
and the people working there could be seen plainly from the ships. 
At length, when Lieutenant Henry Theophilus Smith-Dorien, of 
the Invincible, who had been ashore on leave, made a declaration to 
the Admiral that he had actually witnessed the mounting of two guns 
in Fort Silsileh, Seymour summoned a council of war on board the 
Helicon, and decided to send in a strongly worded ultimatum. The 
Egyptians were informed that unless the batteries of Eas el Tin, and 
the south side of the harbour, were " temporarily surrendered for 
purposes of disarmament," the fleet would attack them. To this 
an Egyptian officer replied that three guns in the batteries named 
should be dismounted ; whereupon most of the foreigners who had 
remained in Alexandria, seeing that fighting was inevitable, quitted 
the city. Seymour expressed his dissatisfaction, and, on July 10th, 
supplemented his ultimatum with the declaration that unless the 
works were given up at once, he would open fire on the llth. 

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This was the signal for all neutral vessels to leave the harbour. 
As the foreign men-of-war which were present departed, the British 
battleships played them out. In the meantime, the telegraph 
steamer Chiltern, which was at Alexandria, had picked up the cables 
to Malta and Cyprus, and, establishing an office on board, had 
placed the fleet in independent communication with home. 

The position of the seaward defences of Alexandria will be seen 
on the plan. The guns actually mounted in them in July, 1882, 
were much inferior to those carried by the British ships, and were 
as follows : 



Smooth Bores. Mortars. 


Muzzle-loaders. B. L. 



8-in. 7-in. 40-pr. 


10-in. 6'5-in. 20-ln. 13-in. 





Fort Silsileh . 
Fort Pharos . 
Fort Ada . . 
Has el Tin lines 
Fort Ras el Tin 
Fort Saleh Aga 
Battery. . . 
Fort Oom ell 
Knbebe . ./ 









2 1 




3 .... 1 
6 31 .4 
14 .. .. 5 
16 11 1 6 
6 21 .. 1 
4 8 .... 
2 2 . ! .. 









6 10 . 1 

2 3 .. 1 
4 5 ..13 

11 9 ..... 
3 1 .... 
9 16 .. 2 







FortMex . . 
Mex lines . . 
Fort Marsa. 



. 3 :: : 

Fort Marabout. 


2 2 

Totals . . 


18 14 4 3 


84 11? 1 24 



The smooth-bores and mortars may almost be ruled out as 
non-effective, especially as the carriages and platforms of many of 
them were out of repair, and as the powder used with them seems 
to have been of defective quality, while the gunners were in- 
experienced. Of rifled heavy guns, as will be seen, the Egyptians 
had but forty-four to the British ninety-seven. Moreover, 
Forts Marabout and Adjemi were not engaged by the ironclads, 
but only by the gun vessels ; Fort Kamaria took no part what- 
sover in the action ; and Fort Marsa is reported to have received 
no shot. As for the works themselves, none were of very modern 
or perfect construction, and some were very old. With the exception 
of Fort Pharos, they were low, and of irregular trace. The parapets 
of the heavy rifled guns had regular embrasures, but the smooth 
bores fired over the parapets, and their crews were, therefore, much 
exposed to the British shrapnel, machine-gun, and small-arm fire. 
Behind the forts, or inside them, were buildings, such as shell stores 


and magazines, showing over the parapets, and offering good targets. 
The magazines, or many of them, had open ventilators and iron 
floors, and were rendered conspicuous by their lightning conductors. 
The more ancient forts were constructed of very soft limestone, and 
the mortar used was bad. The masonry was backed with sand, 
and the parapets were of sand, sloping at an angle of 30 degrees. It 
cannot be said that the defences were of a formidable nature ; and, 
judging from the manner in which Seymour ordered them to be 


attacked, he must have despised them ; for, as will be seen, he allowed 
his Captains some discretion as to whether they would or would not 
anchor within range of the batteries during the action ; and he 
prepared to attack a number of works simultaneously, instead of 
concentrating the whole of his fire against the strongest fort opposed 
to him, and then dealing with the others in succession. This 
would have been the natural procedure of a Commander-in-Chief 
who regarded his task as a really serious and difficult one. At the 


same time, it is by no means clear that Sir Beauchaiilp had any very 
definite ideas as to the strength of the defences, and the resistance 
which they were capable of offering ; for he contemplated the 
possibility that it might take the fleet two or three days to accomplish 
the object which he had in view. 

Seymour's plan of action is laid down in the appended extract 
from a General Order, which was issued by him on July 10th : 

" In the event of my not receiving a satisfactory answer to a summons which 1 
shall send to the Military Governor of Alexandria, calling on him to deliver up to me 
temporarily the works on the southern shore of the harbour, and those on the Ras el 
Tin peninsula, the squadron under my command will attack the forts as soon as the 
twenty-four hours given to neutrals to leave the place have expired ; which will be at 
5 A.M. of the Hth. 

" There will be two attacks : 

" 1. From the inside of the harbour, 1 in which the Invincible, Monarch, and Penelope 
will take part. 

"2. By the Sultan, Superb, Temeraire, Alexandra, and. Inflexible, from outside 
the breakwater. 

"Action will commence by signal from me; when the ship nearest the newly-erected 
earthwork near Fort Ada will fire a shell into the earthwork. 

" On the batteries opening on the off-shore squadron in reply, every effort will be 
made by the ships to destroy the batteries on the Ras el Tin peninsula, especially the 
Lighthouse battery, bearing on the harbour. When this is accomplished, the Sultan, 
Superb, and Alexandra will move to the eastward, and attack Fort Pharos, and, if 
possible, the Silsileh battery. 

" The Inflexible will move down this afternoon to the position off the Corvette Pass 
assigned to her yesterday, and be prepared to open fire on the guns in Mex Lines in 
support of the in-shore squadron when signal is made. The Temeraire, Sultan, and 
Alexandra will flank the works on Ras el Tin. 

" The gun-vessels and gunboats will remain outside, and keep out of fire until a 
favourable opportunity offers itself of moving in to the attack on Mex. 

" Ships must be guided in a great measure by the state of the weather whether they 
anchor or remain under way. If they anchor, a wire hawser should be used as a 
spring. The men are to have breakfast at 4.30 A.M., and are to wear their working rig. 

" The in-shore squadron will be under my personal command ; the off-shore ships 
under that of Captain Hunt-Grubbe, C.B., of the Sultan. The Helicon and Condor 
will act as repeating ships. 

" Finally, the object of this attack is the destruction of the earthworks and the dis- 
mantling of the batteries, on the sea-fronts of Alexandria. It is possible that the work 
may not be accomplished under two or three days. Shell is to be expended with 
caution, notwithstanding that ihellurnber, with a fair proportion of reserve ammunition, 
may be expected here on the 12th. Should the Achilles arrive in time, she is to attack 
Fort Pharos, or place herself where the senior officer of the off-shore squadron may 
direct. . . ." 

Towards evening the ships took up the positions assigned to 
them, the Alexandra 1500, the Sultan 1750, and the Superb 1950 

1 Sir Beauchamp meant " in-shore, near the mouth of the harbour," as is shown by 
his moie detailed instructions. 


yards from the Lighthouse Fort ; the Inflexible, in the Corvette 
Pass, 3750 yards from Mex ; the Temeraire, outside the Boghaz 
Pass, 3500 yards from Mex ; * the Penelope and Invincible 
in-shore, 1000 yards from Mex ; and the Monarch somewhat 
more to the westward, and 1300 yards from Mex. Such ships as 
were in company with others were at intervals of two and a half 
cahles. All were cleared for action on the 10th, top-gallant masts 
being struck, and bowsprits rigged in. The small craft sent down 
all their yards, but the ironclads only their upper ones. 

The morning broke fair and clear, with a smooth sea, and 
a light N.W. breeze, which, when the action began, carried the 
smoke in-shore, and obscured the target, making good shooting 
a little difficult. 

At 7 A.M., by order, the Alexandra fired the first shot at the 
battery near Fort Ada ; and a signal for general action was hoisted 
in the Invincible, where the Commander-in-Chief still flew his flag. 
It was greeted with cheers. Indeed, throughout the action there 
seems to have been more noise and chaff on some of the British decks 
than would have been desirable, or even safe, had the enemy been a 
more serious one. The Egyptians replied quickly and pluckily, their 
officers not hesitating to leap upon the parapets in order to direct 
and encourage the gunners ; and the guns' crews sticking manfully 
to their work in spite of the overpowering fire. In the British 
ships, officers stationed in the tops, or elsewhere aloft, gave such 
information as the smoke would permit them to collect to the 
people at the guns below. The shooting on the part of the attack, 
though not brilliant, was, perhaps, as good as could be looked for 
in the circumstances ; but an undue proportion of the large shells 
failed to burst; and the unsuitableness of ships of the Inflexible 
type for war service was shown by the fact that the concussion 
of her guns smashed her boats (which ought to have been hoisted 
out, and sent to a place of safety, though not too far away), and 
damaged her superstructure. In fact, no man-of-war, if she can 
temporarily get rid of her boats, ought to go into action with them 
on board. It is very important that, in the event of her sustaining 
serious injuries, they should be available for the saving of her crew ; 
and, if they be kept on board, they must suffer severely, if not from 
the concussion of the ship's own guns, at least from the quick-firing 
and machine-guns of the enemy. Moreover, they become a fertile 
1 The Temeraire grounded there, but got off again during the action. 


source of splinters ; and they increase the risk of fire, which, even 
though it may not actually imperil the ship, must impair her 
efficiency hy the production of smoke. 

By 7.10 all the ships were engaged ; and all the forts that could 
bring their guns to bear on them were replying. Of the in-shore 
squadron, the Invincible fought at anchor, using a hawser as a 
spring ; the Penelope, after first fighting at anchor, steamed out 
to a range of about 1200 yards, and then allowed herself to drift 


(From a photo hy the London Stereoscopic Co.) 

in to a range of about 700, afterwards repeating the manoeuvre ; and 
the Monarch steamed up and down, parallel with the Mex lines, 
and, at 8.30, blew up a magazine in the rear of Fort Marsa. The 
Temeraire, further out, supported the fire of the in-shore squadron ; 
and the Inflexible, from outside the centre of the breakwater, 
divided her fire between earth and masonry works Oom el Kubebe 
at 4000 yards, and Eas el Tin at 2700. The Alexandra, Superb, 


and Sultan, first under steam at from 1500 to 2000 yards, and 
then at anchor at about 2200 yards, engaged the works between 
Eas el Tin and Pharos. The firing of the fleet was for the most 
part very slow and deliberate. Nevertheless, by 10.30, the Mex 
works began to show signs of having had enough of it ; and by 
about 12.30 the Inflexible and Temeraire moved eastward, and 
devoted their attention to Pharos and Ada. The Superb, which 
had previously fired chiefly at the Eas el Tin lines and Lighthouse 
battery, also attacked Ada, which she silenced at about 2 P.M., after 
having exploded the magazine. At nearly the same hour, it being 
seen that the gunners in the lower battery of Mex had abandoned 
their guns, a party of twelve volunteers, 1 under Lieutenant Barton 
Eose Bradford, landed through the growing swell and breaking surf, 
spiked six smooth-bores, and disabled two 10-inch rifled muzzle-loaders 
by exploding charges of gun-cotton in their muzzles. This was done 
without casualty, though it cost the loss of the Bittern's dinghy. 

Oom el Kubebe had been silenced at about 1 P.M. ; part of the 
Eas el Tin works ceased to reply an hour and a half later ; 
the Lighthouse end of the Eas el Tin lines became quiet at 
nearly the same time ; and the Hospital end of the same lines 
fired only from a single gun after about 3 P.M. Pharos held out till 
about 4.30 ; and not till after 5 did the last gun near the Hospital 
desist from replying. For a little longer the bombardment was 
continued. At 5.30, however, the signal was made to cease firing. 

In the meantime the gunboats, and especially the Condor, had 
not been idle. Early in the day Lord Charles Beresford, noticing 
that Fort Marabout was endeavouring to annoy the in-shore 
squadron, stood in to the work so close that its guns could barely 
be depressed sufficiently to reach him, and, anchoring, warped his 
little craft to and fro, veering away and heaving in cable, and 
pouring in such fire as he could. He had been at that work for 
about an hour and a half, when, at 10 A.M., the Admiral ordered 
in the other gunboats on the same duty. They all gained positions 
in which they could not be touched, and, no doubt, distracted the 
attention of the enemy to a considerable extent. When, at length, 
the gunboats were recalled, the Condor was cheered from the flag- 
ship, which made the signal, " Well done, Condor." 

During the morning a 10-in. shell from a smooth-bore pierce 

1 Including LieutB. Richard Poore, and Hon. Hedworth Lambton (flag), and Mids. 
Edward Ernest Hardy. 


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an unarmoured part of the Alexandra's side, and lodged on her main 
deck. Hearing a cry to that effect, Gunner Israel Harding, who 
was below, rushed up the ladder, and, seeing that the fuse was 
burning, flung some water over it, and then picked up the 
projectile, and immersed it bodily in the contents of a tub that 
stood at hand. For this act he was promoted to be Chief Gunner 
as from the day of the engagement, and, in the following September, 
was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

The casualties on the side of the attack were insignificant. The 
Alexandra had 1 killed, and 3 wounded; the Superb, 1 killed, and 
1 wounded; the Sultan, 2 killed, and 8 wounded; the Inflexible, 
1 killed, and 2 wounded (one mortally) ;' the Invincible, 6 wounded ; 2 

{Signature when, a Bear-Admiral.') 

and the Penelope, 8 wounded ; 3 making in all, 5 killed, and 28 
wounded. The Egyptian loss, never accurately ascertained, has 
been estimated at as high as 2000, and as low as 300. It was 
probably about 150 killed, and 400 wounded, out of the 2000 men 
who appear to have been engaged in the forts ; and, doubtless, 
there were many further casualties among the troops who were 
to the rear of the works. 

That night the ships repaired damages, and swept the forts and 
harbour with their search-lights, in order to prevent the Egyptians 
from working, or from using mines and torpedoes. The morning 
of the 12th was windy and gloomy. The dead were committed to 

1 The two fatally hit were Lieut. Francis Sydney Jackson, and Carpenter Win. 

2 Including Mids. Walter Lumsden. 

3 Among these was Lieut. Francis Harvey Davies. 


the sea; but, although the Achilles, armoured battleship, Captain 
Edward Kelly, had arrived, little else could be done until the 
weather moderated. When that happened the Inflexible and 
T6meraire fired a few shots into Pharos and Ada, whereupon a 
flag of truce was hoisted. The Admiral sent his Flag-Lieutenant, 
the Hon. Hedworth Lambton, in the Bittern, to receive the surrender 
of the forts ; but, the governor refusing to give them up, it was 
announced that the bombardment would be renewed ; and, at 
4 P.M., a shot was fired at Pharos. Immediately another white 
flag was hoisted. The day was so far advanced that Sir Beau champ 
decided to postpone further operations until the 13th. The Helicon, 
however, steamed into the harbour, and, though she found no one 
with whom to treat, returned to the fleet with about 170 refugees.. 
When, on the following morning, a reconnoitring party landed, it was 
found that all the works had been abandoned. 

The damage done to the ships was small. The Inflexible was 
the most injured. Besides being somewhat mauled aloft, and 
having her unarmoured parts penetrated in various places, she 
was struck outside the citadel below the water-line by a 10-in. 
rifle shot, 1 which glanced upwards, passed through the deck, killed 
Carpenter Shannon, and mortally wounded Lieutenant Jackson, 
who was directing the fire from a 20-pr. on the superstructure. 
It was necessary to dock her. The Monarch and Temeraire were 
untouched. The Alexandra had twenty-four hits from shot or 
shell outside her armour, and was struck, in all, about sixty times. 
The Sultan had a plate dented and started on the water-line, four 
boats damaged, a shot through one funnel, and another through 
the mainmast. The Invincible had several dents on her armour, 
and was penetrated more than once outside of it. The Superb was 
badly hit, just above the water-line and belt, by a shell, which burst 
and blew a hole ten feet long and four feet wide. She also had two 
other holes, one near her fore torpedo-port on the port side, and 
another on the port side abaft the battery. The Penelope was 
hulled eight times. One shot, entering the battery and striking 
the engine-room hatch-coaming, fell into the engine-room, but was 
caught on the grating. One of her guns on the port side had its 
muzzle chipped, but could still be fired. The armour in all cases 
afforded considerably better protection in action than on the proving 

1 A Palliser shot. In the course of its career it struck an iron bollard, base first, 
and impressed its maker's name on it. It also wrecked the Captain's cabin. 

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grounds, and it was not penetrated. As for the ships themselves, 
all were perfectly in condition to re-engage on the following day. 1 

It was supposed at first that the forts had suffered very severely 
indeed from the fire of the ships ; but, especially after they had been 
carefully inspected by the Eoyal Engineers, it appeared that they 
had by no means been crushed, and that they were capable of being 
easily repaired, and quickly fought again. Some of the guns had 
been capsized by their own recoil, owing either to the defective 
nature of their mountings, or to their having been improperly 
handled ; but only 10 out of the 44 rifled guns had been silenced 
by the fire of the fleet. Briefly summarised, the effect of the 
bombardment of the forts was as follows : 

Fort Silsileh, a regular fort, chiefly of earthwork, had been not much engaged, and 
had suffered little. 

Port Pharos, a masonry work with casemates, had had several of its casemates 
riddled and choked. Three guns and carriages were wrecked, and others were masked 
by fallen debris. One gun on the reverse face had been carried away, and pitched upon 
its muzzle into the ditch, thirty feet off. Five out of six of its heavier rifled guns were, 
however, capable of being still worked. 

Fort Ada, an earthwork riveted with masonry, was cut about, but its parapets 
were not materially damaged. Three guns had been struck and put out of action ; yet, 
but for the havoc wrought by the explosion of the magazine, the work might have gone 
on firing. 

Ras el Tin lines, from the Hospital battery on the east, to Ras el Tin Fort, or the 
Lighthouse Fort, on the west, were constructed of masonry and earth. These lines 
and their forts had fought more stubbornly than any other part of the defences, and 
had been badly mauled, but no guns had been actually disabled in the lines, though 
some had been struck. In the Hospital Battery the fronts of the embrasures were 
destroyed, and the guns laid bare, but although one of the weapons bore as many as 
forty-nine marks of shrapnel, none had been materially damaged. In Ras el Tin Fort, 
three guns had been dismounted, but not disabled by the ships. One gun had turned 
over and crushed its gunners. 

Fort Saleh Aga, a work insignificant except it had a command of 60 feet, 
had a 6'5-in. smooth-bore dismounted. 

Fort Oom el Kubebe, a masonry and earthwork, with good profile, and a command 
of 80 feet, also had a 6'5-in. smooth-bore dismounted. The heavy shells from the 
Inflexible had caused much damage to the parapet. 

Fort Kamaria was untouched, and appears never to have engaged. 

The Mex lines, with an extreme command of about 25 feet, had their guns firing 
en barbette over earthen parapets from 15 to 18 feet thick. One, if not two of the guns, 
had been dismounted by the fire of the fleet. 

Fort Mex, with 22 feet of command, also had its guns en barbette, with unriveted 
earth parapets. These last were hardly injured, but the buildings in rear of them were 
swept away. Three guns were struck by shells, and put out of action ; others bore 
marks of machine-gun and shrapnel bullets. 

Fort Marsa was an impotent work. 

Fort Marabout, attacked only by the gunboats, had no guns put out of action. 

1 Desps. : ' Nav. Annual,' 1886 : Farret, ' Ops. de Guerre Marit.' 47 : ' Journal of 
R.U.S.I.,' xxvii., 200 : Private journals : Corr. of the Times, etc. 


The large shells, it was found, had produced remarkably little 
effect against the earthworks. Many burst prematurely, and many 
others did not burst at all. Some even split on striking, and did 
not burst in spite of it. Anunexploded 8-in. shell from the Penelope 
was found in an Egyptian magazine which contained 400 tons of 
powder. Apart from all that, the amount of ammunition expended 
was incommensurate with the results attained. The two ships, the 
Inflexible and Temeraire, which had guns that were worked hydrauli- 
cally, seem to have made, upon the whole, the best shooting. 

Let it be admitted that the bombardment of Alexandria was no 
very brilliant or dangerous exploit. The place was not a Toulon, or 
a Cherbourg ; its defenders were, for the most part, not highly 
trained ; five-sixths of its guns were obsolete ; and the operations of 
the attack were not impeded, as they would have been before many 
another fortress, by the presence of mines, or by the moral effect of 
the vicinity of torpedo boats. The Egyptians had plenty of mines, 
no fewer than 87 of 250 or 500 Ibs., and 500 of 100 Ibs, being 
afterwards found in the magazines ; but, owing to causes already 
noted, they were unable to lay them down. Again, the numerous 
mortars mounted in the works were but little employed, and were fired 
without skill or discretion. A 13-in. shell dropped on the deck of any 
ship engaged would probably have put her out of action, and might 
have been fatal to her ; for, of the eight ironclads, only three, the 
Inflexible, Alexandra, and Temeraire, had any armoured decks at all, 
and those had comparatively weak ones. In face of well served 
mortars, it would certainly have been extremely risky for the ships 
to anchor, as some of them did. 

One of the most suggestive accounts of the bombardment is to 
be found in the report 1 which was furnished to "Washington by 
Lieutenant-Commander Caspar F. Goodrich, of the United States 
Navy, who witnessed it. The main conclusions, other than some of 
those already formulated, of this able and observant officer, were 
that : 

Command is important for forts. 

Thirty feet of earth stops all projectiles. 

Embrasures should be cut deep below the crest. 

No non-disappearing guns should be mounted en barbette. 

Guns should be painted the same colour as the works. 

Flat-trajectory guns are not the best for attacking earthworks. 

Some ships should carry howitzers. 

1 ' Information from Abroad,' iii. 


Vertical fire is important against earthworks, and should be studied. 

Disappearing guns, firing en barbette, are very efficient. 

Projectiles not specially aimed at guns or magazines are thrown away. 

Ships do not fight on even terms with forts ; yet 

Forts cannot stop ships. 1 

Opposed to forts, ships gain more than they lose by anchoring. 

In a heavy swell, broadside guns are not as accurate as axially mounted ones. 

There is much to be said in favour of nearly all these conclusions ; 
and I do not know that anything has since occurred to modify the 
majority of them. But it is impossible to agree that, looking to the 
manner in which accuracy of fire was improved in the last years of 
the nineteenth century, and to the means which may be adopted by 
a vigilant enemy for judging ranges in front of a permanent position, 
ships have any right to anchor before forts. Indeed, even when 
tinder way, ships before forts are always exposed to extreme risks, if 
the defenders have adopted such precautions as are open to them. 
At Kagosima, in 1863, Captain Josling, and Commander Wilmot 
were killed just when the Euryalus was close to a target which had 
been laid out by the Japanese, and of which, no doubt, they knew 
the exact range. 

If Sir Beauchamp Seymour had been only slightly mistaken in 
his estimate of the nature of the defences, and of the capacity of the 
people who manned them, he would scarcely have escaped without 
very serious loss. The attack of a place such as Alexandria can 
be conducted prudently only by such methods as were afterwards 
pursued by the Japanese during their war with China in 1894. The 
function of a fleet before a naval fortress of any pretensions seems to 
be to hold the nut while forces landed on each side of it close and 
crack it. 

The official Egyptian account of the engagement ought not to be 
omitted. It runs : 

"On Tuesday, Shaban 25th, 1299, at 12 o'clock in the morning, the English 
opened fire on the forts of Alexandria, and we returned the fire. At 10 A.M. an iron- 
clad foundered oft' Fort Ada. At noon, two vessels were sunk between Fort Pharos and 
Fort Adjemi. At 1.30 a wooden man-of-war of eight guns was sunk. At 5 P.M. a 
large ironclad was struck by a shell from Fort Pharos, her battery was injured, and a 
white flag was immediately hoisted by her as a signal to cease firing, whereupon the 
firing ceased on both sides, having lasted for ten hours without cessation. Some 
of the walls of the forts were destroyed, but they were repaired during the night. 
The shot and shell discharged by the two sides amounted to about 6000; and this 
is the first time so lavge a number of missiles has been discharged in so short a 

1 This was often demonstrated during the operations at Rio de Janeiro, 1893-4. 


"At 11 A.M. on Wednesday the English ships again opened fire, and were replied 
to by the forts ; but after a short time the firing ceased on both sides, and a deputation 
came from Admiral Seymour, and made propositions to Toulba Pasha which he would 
not accept. No soldiers ever stood so firmly to their posts under a heavy fire as did 
the Egyptian under the fire of twenty-eight ships during ten hours. At 9 A.M. on 
Thursday an English man-of-war was seen to put a small screw in place of the large 
one which she had been using ; and it was then known that her screw had been carried 
away by a shot from the forts. On examining other ships, it was observed that eight 
had been severely battered on their sides, and that one had lost her funnel." 

Various honours were granted for this in conjunction with the 
subsequent work done by the Navy in Egypt. For the bombardment 
of Alexandria alone the following executive promotions were made, 
as from the day of the action : 

To be Captains : Commanders George Weightman Hand, Charles John Balfour 
Lord Charles William Delapoer Beresford, Albert Baldwin Jenkings, and Alan 
Brodrick Thomas. 

To be Commanders : Lieutenants Hugh Cuthbert Dudley Ryder, Edward Payne, 
Arthur Herbert Boldero, Duke Arthur Crofton, William Codrington Carnegie 
Forsyth, William Llewellyn Morrison, William Harvey Pigott, Henry John 
May, Barton Rose Bradford. 

To be Lieutenants : Sub-Lieutenants Charles Eustace Anson, Herbert Willoughby 
Meredith, George Frederick Godfrey Purvis, George Sarsfield Walsh, William 
Henry du Caurroy Chads, Robert Burlton Abdy, Reginald Ambrose Cave- 
Brown-Cave, Norman Burgoyne Youel, Norman Godfrey Macalister. 

Several other officers were noted for promotion. 

For some time after the bombardment the Navy continued to 
take a conspicuous share in controlling the course of events, not 
only in and near Alexandria, but also in other parts of Lower 
Egypt. Seymour, however, was cruelly hampered, especially at 
the outset, by the impossibility of putting ashore a force strong 
enough to undertake operations on any but the most modest scale. 
The authorities at home had failed to make adequate provision for 
the occupation of a large city, and the management of a turbulent 
mixed population ; and the consequences were not creditable to 
the foresight of the British Government, though they did no small 
honour to the British bluejacket and his officers. 

On July 13th the Invincible, Penelope, Monarch, Condor, Beacon, 
and Bittern steamed into harbour, and the Admiral landed from 
them a detachment of 150 bluejackets and 450 Eoyal Marines to 
keep some kind of order in the place. The city was still burning, 
partly as the result of the bombardment, partly in consequence of 
incendiary fires which had been lighted by released convicts. It 
was supposed, moreover, to be mined on an extensive scale, so that 


the streets were regarded as extremely unsafe. The guns in several 
batteries were spiked ; the Khedive's palace at Eas el Tin was 
garrisoned ; and efforts were made to clear the streets. On the 
following day, when a number of additional Marines had been 
disembarked for police duties, the Penelope, with Bear-Admiral 
Anthony Hiley Hoskins on board, left for Port Said. 1 The Khedive 
was visited by Seymour and some civilian officers, and invited to 
go on board one of the warships ; but he preferred to remain at 
Eas el Tin. By the evening all the most important positions in 
the city had been taken possession of, though the available men 
were, of course, far too few to hold them properly, and, indeed, 
too few to repress at once the looting and continued incendiarism 
that prevailed. Captain Fisher was in command of all the British 
naval forces ashore, and, with small means, accomplished wonders. 
On the 15th, when the senior American officer on the spot had 
landed a number of his marines to assist in the restoration of order, 
these, and the British naval police, were placed in charge of 
Commander Lord Charles Beresford, who rendered very sterling 
service. The Americans, as usual, co-operated in the most loyal 
and friendly fashion with the British. In consequence, apparently, 
of the example set by them, the senior naval officers of one or two 
other nationalities also offered to land men ; and their offers were 
gratefully accepted. 

In the meantime Arabi and the Egyptian forces had withdrawn 
without the city, and, upon the whole, neither they nor the tribes- 
men caused much trouble, though, on one occasion, about 150 
Bedouins, bent probably upon looting, appeared close to the Gabari 
gate. When, however, Midshipman Eustace William Clitherow 
Stracey, 2 at the head of twelve bluejackets, attacked them, and 
killed two, the rest fled, the Egyptian army not attempting to 
intervene. Lieutenant Charles Eustace Anson, of the Helicon, 
was employed on another occasion to destroy the railway line above 
Mallaha Junction, the station at which was garrisoned without 
opposition ; and, on the 17th, when Commander Eustace Downman 
Maude, of the Temeraire, with four bluejackets and four men of 
the Khedive's Guard, rode towards Kafr-dawar, and within 300 
yards of Arabi's lines, he found all quiet. Had the Egyptian 

1 Times of July 14 and 15, containing telegs. from Seymour, etc. Hoskins seems 
to have returned, and to have gone again to Port Said on Aug. 16. 

2 Of the Alexandra. 



general maintained an actively offensive attitude, the difficulties of 
the British officers in Alexandria would have been greatly increased 
in those early days. While he lay almost inactive, reinforcements 
arrived, and he lost such chances as he may have had at first. 

On July 17th, the ironclads Agincourt, 1 Captain Elibank Harley 
Murray (flag of Bear- Admiral Sir Francis William Sullivan), and 
Northumberland, 1 Captain George Stanley Bosanquet, and the 
despatch vessel Salamis, 1 Commander Frederick Boss Boardman, 
together with the troopship Tamar, Captain Thomas Harvey Eoyse, 
reached the scene ; and a stream of much-needed troops began to 
pour into Alexandria. The reliefs enabled most of the disembarked 
bluejackets to be recalled to their ships on the 18th, though the 
Marines, of course, remained ashore, and their strength there was 
increased. The Navy, moreover, continued to take charge of the 
town, Major-General Sir Archibald Alison, 2 who had been sent out, 
commanding the army which at length was assembling. The 
naval officers holding the most responsible positions in Alexandria, 
under the Admiral, were Captain Hotham (Chief of the Staff), 
Captain Edward Kelly, of the Achilles (Head of the Transport 
Service), Captain Fisher (Chief of the Naval Brigade), Commander 
Lord Charles Beresford (Chief of Police), and Paymaster James 
Edward Stanton, of the Invincible (Head of the Commissariat). 
Immense keenness and energy were displayed by all ranks and 
ratings. Captain Wilson, of the Hecla, who landed for the purpose 
at Mex, and then moved along the coast, destroyed about 100 
guns in the seaward defences, and Lieutenant William Harvey 
Pigott, of the Inflexible, mounted the damaged lighthouse at great 
risk, and relighted the lamp in it, though, with the seaman who 
accompanied him, he found it impossible to descend unaided from 
the tower, and had to wait there until he could be rescued. As 
for the Marines, who, during the earlier part of the occupation, 
were under Major Joseph Philips, of the Alexandra, they were 
insatiable, working on many occasions until they were absolutely 

1 Detached from the Channel Squadron. The other ships detached from the 
Channel Squadron were the Achilles, which had reached Alexandria immediately after 
the bombardment, and the Minotaur (flag of Vice-Adm. Win. Montagu Dowell, senior 
officer), Captain John Fellowes. Yice-Adm. Dowell became, therefore, second in 
command in the Mediterranean, Bear-Adm. Sullivan being third, and Bear-Adm. 
Hoskins fourth. The last had been specially appointed on July 7, 1882, and hoisted 
his flag in the Penelope upon his arrival. 

2 Sub-Lieut. James Erskine, of the Helicon, was attached to Alison as naval A.D.C. 

1882.] HEWETT IN THE It ED SEA. 339 

exhausted. 1 It was during this period of the campaign that 
Captain Fisher, assisted by Lieutenant Eichard Poore, devised and 
improvised an armoured train which at once became exceedingly 
useful for reconnoitring purposes, and which seems to have been 
first employed in action on July 28th. 2 In a skirmish near 
Eamleh, four days earlier, a couple of naval guns took part ; and 
these, or two other naval 9-prs., were subsequently posted on the 
high ground eastward of the palace to defend the ridge east of 
the city. They were commanded first by Captain Alan Brodrick 
Thomas, and, after July 29th, by Commander Tynte Ford Haminill. 
On the 29th Captain Fisher and Lieutenant the Hon. Hedworth 
Lambton, with 300 Marines, 2 Nordenfelt machine-guns, and a 9-pr., 
accompanied Sir Archibald Alison on a railway reconnaissance 
from Gabari Station. 3 It was on the 29th, also, that Midshipman 
Dudley Eawson De Chair, of the Alexandra, while carrying 
dispatches between Eas et Tin and Eamleh, lost his way, and 
fell into the hands of the rebels, near Siouf. 4 He was well treated 
by Arabi Pasha, but liberated only upon the occupation of Cairo 
by the British Army. Mex forts were occupied on August 2nd 
by Marines from the Inconstant, Superb, and Achilles, under 
Lieut. -Colonel Frederick Gasper Le Grand. 6 A considerable force 
of both arms of that invaluable and historic corps had arrived, in 
the interim, from England, and subsequently, as will be seen, 
distinguished itself greatly. 

While preparations were being made for grappling with the 
Egyptian rebellion from the Mediterranean side, the Navy also 
secured a foothold and a shore base on the Eed Sea coast of Egypt. 
Eear-Admiral Sir William Nathan Wrighte Hewett, V.C., Com- 
mander-in-Chief in the East Indies, had come westward with a 
portion of his squadron, and, on August 2nd, learning that Suez 
was in danger of being burnt, he disembarked several hundred 
Marines, and occupied the town. No resistance was offered, the 
Egyptian troops fleeing at once. The vessels which contributed 
the landing force were the corvettes Euryalus (flag), Captain 
Alexander Plantagenet Hastings, Ruby, Captain Charles Edward 

1 Times, July, 18, 19, 22. 

2 On that day there were still ashore, under Capt. Fisher, 900 Marines and 850 

3 Times, July 31. When, two days later, Fisher relinquished some of his shore 
duties, the Khedive sent for him, and complimented him on his services. 

4 Times, Aug. 1. 5 Times, Aug. 3. 

7. 0. 


Foot, and Eclipse, Captain Edmund St. John Garforth, and the 
sloop Dragon, Commander Edward Grey Hulton. 1 

The armoured train had a busy day on August 4th, when it 
accompanied a strong reconnaissance to Mallaha Junction, and 
there came into contact with Arabi's outposts. Upon returning 
to Gabari Station, the train took on board Captain Arthur Knyvet 
Wilson, of the Hecla, and one of his 40-pr. Armstrong breech- 
loaders, and steamed to the Mex lines. There the gun was 
disembarked, and employed with extraordinary success against the 
Mariout earthworks, distant about 6000 yards. In the evening, 
Admiral Seymour and Bear-Admiral Sullivan used the train to 
make a further inspection of Arabi's lines to the eastward. On the 
day following the train, for the first time, was seriously engaged. 

On the 5th it steamed out under Captain Fisher at about 4 P.M. 
On board were Sir Archibald Alison, Admiral Seymour, Lieut. - 
Colonel Henry Brasnell Tuson, E.M.A., Major Henry Harford 
Strong, R.M.L.I., Commander Reginald Friend Hannam Henderson, 
Lieutenants the Hon. Hed worth Lambton, and Richard Poore, Major 
Joseph Philips, E.M.L.I., and Midshipmen Edward Ernest Hardy, 
and E. W. C. Stracey. A train followed with 700 men of the 
Marine battalion. In conjunction with the railway expedition a 
military force 2 acted from Ramleh. Apart from, that, 200 blue- 
jackets, and 1000 Marines, in all, with one 40-pr., and two 9-prs., 
were engaged, the naval contingent being drawn from the Invincible, 
Inflexible, Alexandra, Inconstant, Hecla, and Helicon. 

Within about 800 yards of Mallaha Junction, the Marines 
detrained, formed up under cover of the railway embankment, 
and then advanced. The enemy's vedettes quickly appeared on 
the left front, the 40-pr. opened on them, and, when a company 
of Marine Infantry moved forward under Captain Leaver Henry 
Gascoyne Cross, R.M., the Egyptians were subjected to a brisk 
rifle fire. Cross was supported by another company under Captain 
Edward Berry Byrch, R.M. The 40-pr. quickly dislodged the 
enemy, whereupon a company of Marine Artillery, under Major 
Andrew Donald, R.M. A., occupied the Egyptian entrenchments. 
Donald was supported by a company of Marine Infantry under 

1 From Suez, on Aug. 8th, departed Lieut. Harold Charrington, of the Kuryalus, 
with Capt. Gill, R.E., and Prof. Palmer, to make arrangements with the Arabs for 
the supply of camels. All three were murdered by the Bedouins. 

2 60th Rifles and part of 38th and 46th Regts. 


Captain Eobert Walker Heathcote, E.M., who took up a position 
in extension of Donald's left. At 6.30 P.M., daylight failing, and 
the General's object having apparently been accomplished, the men 
began to be withdrawn ; whereupon the Egyptians commenced 
an extremely galling fire upon the British right. The Marines 
instantly faced round, and retired company by company, the units 
supporting one another as each fell back. The operation was very 
well performed ; and the whole day's work of the seamen and 
Marines elicited high praise from Sir Archibald Alison, who after- 
wards visited their barracks. Six prisoners were taken. The 
casualties of the Marines and Brigade in this affair were 1 Marine 
killed, 12 Marines wounded ; 1 seaman killed, 4 seamen wounded. 1 
The number of the enemy engaged was about 2000, with 6 guns, 
and 6 rocket-tubes. The armoured train continued to make 
reconnaissances of this kind ; 2 but the value of them was considered 
to be doubtful, as the positions taken were never held, and no 
immediate objects seemed to be served. 

In the meantime a number of Bedouins were seen to be 
employed upon some earthworks east and south of Eamleh. 
Accordingly, on the afternoon of August 8th, the Superb weighed, 
and, steaming down the coast, shelled them, and drove the 
labourers away. At night the ship's searchlights were turned 
upon the shore; but the chief effect of them was to confuse the 
British pickets. Searchlights, indeed, are of but little value except 
to observers posted behind or in the neighbourhood of the pro- 
jectors. In the early days of their introduction, they were often 
employed, especially during manoeuvres, in such a way as to be 
a positive source of danger to their users and their users' friends. 

On August llth, the greater part of the Naval Brigade was 
recalled to the fleet, two 9-prs., and two Gatling machine-guns, 
with their crews, being, however, left with the army. General 
H.E.H. the Duke of Connaught, who had arrived on the 10th, 
caused great satisfaction by requesting that the Eoyal Marines 
might form part of his brigade. On August 12th, when, by the 
way, the foreign landing-parties were all re-embarked, a party 
from the Hecla distinguished itself by destroying a quantity of 

AdmPs. and Genl's. desps. ; and Times, Aug. 7. The First Lord, in the Queen's 
name, subsequently cabled thanks. 

- E.g., on Aug. 9 and Aug. 14. On the latter clay, when it moved towards Mex, 
it was fired upon by the enemy, of whom it killed or wounded about 20. 


gun-cotton while exposed, during some minutes, to a smart fire 
from the enemy. 

General Sir Garnet Wolseley, who, with Lieut.-General Sir 
John Adye as chief of his staff, had been appointed to the supreme 
military command in Egypt, and who reached the scene of action 
at about this time, had decided not to use Alexandria as his base 
of operations against Cairo, but to advance instead from Ismailia, 
a port on the Suez Canal nearly midway between Port Said and 
Suez. The expeditionary force, however, consisting of about 
17,000 troops of all arms, 1 made preliminary rendezvous at 
Alexandria, while Rear-Admirals Hewett and Hoskins took the 
necessary measures to secure the Canal and the desired base, a 
misleading demonstration being made simultaneously in the direc- 
tion of Aboukir. 

Under Hoskins's direction, Captain Fairfax, of the Monarch, 
occupied Port Said, and Captain Robert O'Brien FitzRoy, of the 
ironclad Orion, occupied Ismailia on August 20th. 

At Port Said no difficulties were experienced. At 3.30 A.M. 
on that day a party of 216 seamen and 276 Marines, 2 with 2 
Gatling machine-guns, landed in silence under Captains Fairfax, 
and Edward Hobart Seymour (Iris). The Egyptian troops in 
the barracks were surrounded, and seamen were posted right across 
the isthmus, from Lake Menzaleh to the sea. The troops surren- 
dered immediately. Captain Seymour then seized the Canal 
Company's office, so as to prevent the alarm from being trans- 
mitted thence to other stations. 3 

At Ismailia there was more trouble. The landing-force con- 
sisted of 565 officers and men, drawn from the Orion, and the 
Northumberland, from the corvette Carys/ort, Captain Henry 
Frederick Stephenson, and from the gunboat Coquette, Lieutenant 
Lenox Napier, with a 7-pr. and 2 Gatlings. The European part 
of the town was occupied in silence, and without fighting ; but 
some skirmishing took place in the Arab quarter, and it was found 
necessary to shell certain guard-houses. In the meantime, too, 
a large body of the enemy collected at Nefiche station, other troops 
coming thither from Tel el Kebir, and preparing to attack Ismailia. 

1 Besides an Indian contingent of about 7000 men. 

2 From the ironclad Monarch, and the cruiser Iris, with a few from the ironclad 

3 Royle, 144. 


When, however, the Orion and Garysfort, from their positions 
in the Canal, opened fire at about 4000 yards, the concentration 
was checked, although the Egyptian position was visible only 
from the corvette's mast-head, and every gun had to be aimed 
by means of bearings taken from that point of vantage. To 
enable the Orion's guns to be given the requisite elevation, the 
ironclads port boilers had been emptied and her projectiles shifted, 
so as to give the ship a list to starboard. When, at length, she 
burst a shell under a train which was bringing up reinforcements, 
the Egyptians, who by that time had had enough of it, abandoned 
Nefiche. 1 The corvette Tourmaline, Captain Kobert Peel Dennis- 
toun, the gun-vessel Heady, Commander Herbert Holden Edwards, 
and the gunboat Dee, Lieutenant Frank Archdall Harston, were 
sent promptly by Hoskins to FitzRoy's support, with a reinforce- 
ment of 340 Marines, but do not seem to have been needed. In 
this affair Commander Henry Coey Kane, of the Northumberland, 
was wounded. 

During the previous night, that of the 19th, all the dredgers 
and barges in the Canal, the Company's telegraph system, and the 
village of Kantara, had been seized by a force of 100 officers and 
men acting under direction of Commander Edwards, of the Ready ; 
so that by the afternoon of the 20th the Canal and all its machinery 
were in British hands. M. de Lesseps, on behalf of the Company, 
made vigorous protests, and was, to some slight extent, backed up 
by his compatriots ; but, in the circumstances, he could not be 
listened to. Eventually he consoled himself by bringing ridiculous 
charges of barbarism against Captain FitzBoy, 2 whom he com- 
pared unfavourably with Arabi Pasha. 

The Canal having been secured, the gun-vessels Beacon, Com- 
mander William Frederick Stanley Mann, and Falcon, Commander 
John Eliot Pringle, the dispatch-vessel Helicon, Lieutenant Alfred 
Leigh Winsloe, and the special service vessel Stormcock, entered 
it to undertake patrol and other duties ; and on August 21st, the 
waterway was temporarily closed to all vessels save those under 
the orders of the British Government. The Dutch Hotel, com- 
manding the Port Said entrance to the Canal, was purchased for 
78,000, and occupied by two companies of seamen from the 
Monarch, under Commander Hammill, and Lieutenants William 
Crawford Beid, and Thomas Henry Fisher, and by three com- 

1 Eoyle, 137. 2 Times, esp. of Sept. 5 and 6. 


panies of Marines drawn respectively from the Monarch, the 
Inflexible, and the Alexandra. 

From the Suez end of the Canal, on August '20th, Captain 
Hastings, of the Euryalus, with seamen and Marines from the 
gun-vessel Seagull, Commander Mather Byles, and the gunboat 
Mosquito, Lieutenant the Hon. Francis Kobert Sandilands, and 
200 of the 72nd Highlanders, proceeded to Chalouf, where he 
landed, 1 and defeated GOO of the enemy, capturing a number of 
prisoners, a small gun, and a quantity of arms, ammunition, and 
stores. 2 His losses were only 2 Highlanders drowned, and 2 sea- 
men wounded, while the Egyptians had 168 killed. 

Previous to the advance of the army from the Canal westwards, 
the work of the Koyal Navy and Boyal Marines was chiefly 
confined to the preservation of order in the Canal, although on 
several occasions the Minotaur, lying in Aboukir Bay, bombarded 
the enemy's works, and although in the brisk action at Tel el 
Mahuta, near Ismailia, on August 24th, a creditable part was 
borne by a detachment of seamen and Marines, with 2 Gatlings, 
from the Or'o, 3 and Carysfort. Marines also took a leading part 
in the preliminary affair at Kassassin 4 on August 28th. 

Preparations for a general movement from Ismailia along the 
Fresh Water Canal towards Cairo went on steadily, until, at the 
end of the first week in September a considerable British force 
was concentrated at Kassassin, where, on the morning of the 9th, 
the Egyptians attacked again. On that occasion the Marines were 
on the left of the British line, and, with the King's Boyal Rifles, 
soon began to drive the enemy back. After the Egyptian artillery, 
which was posted on a ridge, had been shelled, Captain Boger Pine 
Coffin, B.M.L.I., and Lieutenant Herbert Cecil Money, B. M.L.I., 
led a successful charge of Marines up the slope, and captured two 
Krupp guns, whereupon the enemy retired within his earthworks. 
That day Lieutenant Charles Kennedy Purvis, of the Penelope, was 
wounded while directing the fire of a 40-pr. Armstrong, and was 
obliged to have a foot amputated. Towards evening the small 
Naval Brigade at the front was reinforced by 15 officers, 197 sea- 
men, and 6 Gatling machine-guns from the Temeraire, Orion, 

1 The naval landing party was under Lieut. Ebenezer Rae, and Sub-Lieut. Win. 
Oswald Story. 

2 Times, Sept. 1. 3 Under Lieut. Gerald Lycidas King-Harman. 

4 On that occasion, Capt. Wm. Guise Tucker, R.M.A., mounted a captured Krupp 
gun on a railway truck and worked it most effectively against the enemy. 


Alexandra, Monarch, Superb, and Carysfort, the whole being 
then under Captain FitzKoy, and numbering about 250 of all 
ranks and ratings. 

For three days longer the concentration at Kassassin continued. 
Then, on the night of September 12th, Sir Garnet Wolseley moved 
forward the bulk of his army over the intervening six and a quarter 
miles, marching in the gloom of a moonless night ; and early in the 
morning of the 13th he surprised Arabi's army in its positions 
eastward of Tel el Kebir, and, attacking it at once, defeated it with 
great slaughter. 

The Naval Brigade on that day moved along the railway. A 
battalion of Eoyal Marine Artillery, 1 under Lieut.-Colonel Henry 
Brasnell Tuson, and another of Eoyal Marine Light Infantry, 
under Lieut. -Colonels Howard Sutton Jones, and Samuel James 
Graham, also took part in the action, the latter especially dis- 
tinguishing itself. It formed the left of Major General Graham's 
(2nd) brigade of Lieut. -General Willis's (1st) division. After a long 
march, the brigade, as dawn was breaking, found itself 1200 yards 
from the front of the northern portion of the Tel el Kebir lines, 
but, having mistaken its way in the darkness, it was facing in the 
wrong direction. While a change of front was being effected the 
enemy opened fire, and ere the brigade was properly formed the 
fire had become heavy. Lieut.-Colonel Jones sent forward three 
companies into the firing line, and kept three in support, and two 
more in reserve, and so attacked over ground which afforded 
absolutely no cover. But the men moved forward with extra- 
ordinary steadiness, mounted the glacis, and reserved their fire 
until they were within little more than 100 yards of the ditch. 
The reserves, under Lieut.-Colonel Graham, then came up, and 
the whole force dashed into the ditch with a cheer, scrambled over 
the eight-foot parapet on the other side, and engaged the Egyptians 
at hand grips. The enemy, after a brief resistance, broke and 
fled, and was pursued for about four miles. The casualties in the 
Light Infantry battalion were ; killed, Major Henry Harford Strong, 
Captain John Charles Wardell, one non-commissioned officer, and 
10 men ; wounded, Captains Eoger Pine Coffin, and Leaver Henry 
Gascoyne Cross, Lieutenants John Hulke Plumbe, and Edwin 
Loftus McCausland, and 43 men. Lieutenant Wyatt Eawson, E.N., 
who was acting as naval A.d.C. to Sir Garnet Wolseley, was 

1 Employed as Sir G. Wolseley's bodyguard. 


mortally wounded. He had undertaken to guide part of the force 
during the night by means of the stars. "Did I not lead them 
straight?" he asked the commander-in-chief, who rode back to 
visit him. He was specially promoted to the rank of Commander, 
but died on the 21st. 1 

The Naval Brigade was withdrawn to the ships on September 16th, 
and the gallant Marines saw no more fighting, for Tel el Kebir had 
been the decisive battle of the campaign. On September 19th and 
20th, Vice-Admiral Dowell, who lay meanwhile in Aboukir Bay, 
landed a force of Marines, under Major Arthur French, E.M.A., 
of the Minotaur, and occupied the forts there. On the 21st, a 
blockade of the Damietta mouth of the Nile was established by 
the Iris, Beacon, and Decoy ; but the operation was almost needless, 
for the Damietta forts surrendered on the 23rd without opposition, 
and a few days later the last sparks of Arabi's rebellion had 
flickered out. 

The naval honours granted in respect of this campaign were 
gazetted, for the most part on August 14th, and November 17th, 
1882, and included the following : 

To Adm. Sir P. P. B. Seymour, G.C.B., a peerage, as Baron Alcester. 

To Yice-Adm. W. M. Dowell, C.B., and Rear- Adm. A. H. Hoskins, C.B. (Nov. 17), 
and to Capt. W. J. Hunt-Grubbe (Aug. 14), the K.C.B. 

To Capts. T. Le H. Ward, St. G. C. D'Arcy-Irvine, H. Fairfax, 2 H. F. Nicholson, 
C. F. Hotham, B. H. M. Molyneux, and J. A. Fisher, and Dept. Insp.-GenL 
Doyle Money Shaw (Aug. 14), and to Capts. R. O'B. FitzRoy, Harry 
Holds worth Rawson 3 and A. P. Hastings; Chf. Insp. of Maoh. James Roffey, 
Colonels H. S. Jones, R.M.L.I., and H. B. Tuson, R.M.A., and Lieut.-CoL 
S. J. Graham, R.M.L.I. (Nov. 17), the C.B. 

In addition to the promotions which had been dated July llth 
in recognition of the bombardment of Alexandria, the following, 
among other advancements, were made on November 18th, 1882 : 

To be Captains, Corns. M. Byles, H. H. Edwards, and H. C. Kane. 

To be Commanders, Lieuts. Win. Wilson, Lenox Napier, Geo. Hy. Moore,* Jno. 
Edric Blaxland, Edw. Chichester,* Alex. Cook, Chas. Jas. Norcock, Gerald 
Chas. Langley, Hon. Fras. Robt. Sandilands, and Chas. K. Purvis. 

To be Staff Commanders, Nav.-Lieuts. Hy. Emilius Wood and Jno. Baker Palmer. 

To be Chief Engineers, Geo. Swinney, Wm. Thos. Hy. Bills, and Geo. Rigler. 

To be Staff Surgeons, Surgs. Chas. Cane Godding, Herb. Mackay Ellis, and Evelyn 
Rd. Hugh Pollard. 

To be Colonels in the Army, Lt.-Cols. H. B. Tuson and H. S. Jones, R.M. 

1 Times, and Desps. ; Journ. of R.U.S. Inst., Standard, A. & N. Gaz. 

2 Mil. He had been made a Civ. C.B. in 1879. 

s Rawson served as Principal Transport Officer. * Transport Offrs. 


Before giving any account of the operations which, in 1883 
and later, were rendered necessary by the fact that, after Arabi's 
rebellion, Great Britain assumed responsibility for the management 
of the affairs of Egypt, it will be convenient to glance at some 
useful and interesting work which was done by the Navy on other 
parts of the coast of Africa. 

In virtue of an obscure clause in an agreement dating from the 
days of Kichelieu, France for many years had taken a special 
interest in the affairs of the island of Madagascar, the whole of 
which, indeed, she formally annexed in 1896. In 1883, however, 
when first she adopted a forward policy in her dealings with the 
island, and when she sent a Commissary of the Kepublic, M. Baudais, 
to advance her interests on the spot, her ambitions seemed to limit 
themselves to the occupation of certain points on the coast. In 
the spring of that year Bear-Admiral Pierre bombarded and took 
possession of the villages in Ampassandava Bay, the Hova fort of 
Amorantsanga, and the customs' house and town of Majunga ; and 
on May 31st he arrived off Tamatave. On the day following he 
made demands on the part of the French government, and declared 
that, unless they should be complied with by midnight on June 9th, 
he would adopt hostile measures. 

At that time Mr. Pakenham, the British Consul at Tamatave, 
was dying. 1 His successor had not been appointed, and, con- 
sequently, Commander Charles Johnstone, of the sloop Dryad, took 
upon himself to assume the post of acting British Consul, in order 
to watch over the local interests of his countrymen. He removed 
the consular records on board his ship. 

Two days later, Kear-Admiral Pierre issued a notice to the effect 
that French subjects and foreign consuls (after having hauled down 
their flags on shore) would be received in his vessels, and that 
otherwise he would not be responsible for their safety. This caused 
something like a panic in the town ; and on June 7th Commander 
Johnstone deemed it desirable to land a guard of 19 Marines for 
the protection of the consulate, and to put the Dryad's steam cutter 
and pinnace at the disposal of such persons as might desire to take 
refuge in the sloop. For this purpose the boats lay near the 

On June 9th the French consul was handed a refusal of the 
ultimatum ; and he embarked at once on board the French flagship 

1 He died on June 22nd. 


Flore. On the 10th the town was bombarded by the Flore and the 
Forfait, and set fire to in various places ; but the British guard, 
assisted by a few Europeans, succeeded in staying the progress of 
the most serious conflagration, which broke out in the market-place. 
Nevertheless, Bear-Admiral Pierre had the hardihood to declare that 
that particular fire had been caused by an incendiary, and that, 
since Johnstone had landed a guard, he must be held responsible 
for the outbreak. 

The Hovas, acting on British advice, did not reply to the French 
guns, and evacuated the fort early on the 10th; but it was not 
until the morning of the l'2th that the French put ashore any force 
capable of keeping order in the place. This force behaved in a 
tyrannical manner, and, among other outrages, arrested Mr. Shaw, 
an agent of the London Missionary Society, on a ridiculous charge 
of having harboured spies, and drugged wine which he gave to 
French soldiers. Meanwhile, the Dryad's officers and crew were 
forbidden to communicate with the shore, and the sloop Dragon, 
Commander Edward Alverne Bolitho, which had arrived on the 
10th, was ordered into quarantine, apparently without adequate 
excuse. Not until July 28th did the rear-admiral permit the foreign 
consuls to resume the exercise of their functions ; and during great 
part of the interval the tension between Pierre and Johnstone was 
extreme. Ultimately Mr. Shaw, who was released when the charges 
brought against him were proved to be baseless, was paid an in- 
demnity of 1000 by the French government. 1 

The episode was a most extraordinary one, for there is very little 
doubt that Commander Johnstone, who was deservedly promoted 2 
for his services, had to deal with a madman, Pierre's mental 
condition becoming obvious soon afterwards. Yet, though the 
French had upon the spot a large frigate-built cruiser of 3500 tons, 3 
another cruiser of 2400 tons, 4 and various other vessels of force, 
Johnstone, with his feeble and ill-armed 1620 ton sloop, 5 reinforced 
by another sloop of 1130 tons, not only prevented French inter- 
ference with the mails, and saved much valuable property, but 
also added to the glory of the flag by resolutely clearing for action 
in order to prove his readiness to stand up to the death for the 

1 Times, July 16, July 18, Aug. 25, Sept. 11, etc. : Parl. Paper C. 3838 (1884). 

2 Posted Nov. 21, 1883 : retd. as i-.-adm. Jan. 1, 1899. 

3 Flore. She carried 22 5'5-in. guns, besides other weapons. 

4 For/ait. She carried 15 5 5-iu. guns, besides other weapons. 

5 The Dryad seems then to have carried 9 64-prs. 

1883.] BROOKE IN THE NIGER. 349 

rights of his countrymen, undeterred by the overwhelming odds 
against him. An officer less firm, spirited, and tactful might easily 
have met with disaster, even if the French officer opposed to him 
had been free from every suspicion of insanity. 

An affair which, unfortunately, involved the loss of British lives 
took place a few months later on the other side of Africa. There 
having been trouble with the natives of Igah and Aboh, on the 
river Niger, Captain Arthur Thomas Brooke, of the Opal, left his 
corvette at the mouth of the stream, and, transferring his pennant 
to the paddle-vessel Alecto, Lieutenant Frank Archdall Harston, 
proceeded in her to Igah, accompanied by the twin-screw gun-vessel 
Flirt, Commander Eobert Frederick Hammick, and the gunboat 
Starling, Lieutenant Francis William Sanders. The Opal's steam- 
cutter, under Sub-Lieutenant Alexander Ludovic Duff, and one of 
her pulling-boats were also with the expedition. Brooke met the 
chiefs on October 25th. The natives, however, showed hostility, 
and the chiefs, upon being required to disperse them, refused, 
whereupon the British officer withdrew to his ship. 

The natives then opened fire on the vessels, which retaliated 
by beginning a general bombardment. Later, bluejackets under 
Hammick and Harston, and a body of Marines under Sanders, 
landed, and completely destroyed Igah. 

On the day following the three ships steamed to Aboh, where 
a British subject had been ill-treated ; and Brooke ordered the local 
chiefs to assemble for a palaver. The chief who was specially 
implicated refused to attend. A party under Lieutenants Sanders, 
and Leslie Creery Stuart (first of the Opal) was sent ashore to 
take charge of the Sierra Leone man whose complaint had brought 
the expedition to the spot, and Brooke dispatched to the recalcitrant 
chief a warning that, if he did not go on board the Alecto, the town 
would be shelled. The chief still refused, and, moreover, expressed 
his willingness to fight. On the 29th, indeed, about four or five 
thousand natives assembled on the shore, and attacked the various 
parties which had been landed. After a smart action they were 
driven back with heavy loss, but not until two seamen of the Opal 
had been killed, and Lieutenant Charles Henry Hodgson Moore, 
and Midshipman Edward Hay had been wounded, the last fatally. 1 

The course of events in Egypt may now be returned to. 

As early as 1881 a religious leader, Mahommed Ahmed, who 

1 Times, Nov. 2 C J, 1883 ; A. cfc N. Gaz. Jan. 19, 1884. 


called himself the Mahdi, had attained a commanding position in 
the Soudan, and had revolted against the Egyptian government. 
In that year he had destroyed a small force which had been sent 
to arrest him. In 1882 he had annihilated a much larger force 
under Yusef Pasha. In 1883 a still larger army, tinder Hicks 
Pasha, had been almost totally cut to pieces by the rebels near 
El Obeid. By that time the Mahdi's 1 authority had extended 
greatly, and had reached the Eed Sea littoral, where the prophet's 
lieutenant, Osman Digna, an ex-slave dealer of Suakin, raised the 
local Arabs and invested Sinkat and Tokar. On October 16th, 
and again on November 4th, 1883, he intercepted and crushed 
Egyptian reinforcements which were intended for the former town. 

It was in consequence of Osman Digna's activity that, in 
November, 1883, Bear- Admiral 2 Sir William Nathan Wrighte 
Hewett, V.C., Commander-in-Chief on the East Indies Station, 
ordered the gun-vessel Banger, Commander William Eveleigh 
Darwall, to Suakin, to support Egyptian interests. On November 
26th, and December 1st, the Suakin forts were attacked by the 
enemy, and on December 2nd an Egyptian force which had been 
sent out from the town was annihilated near Tamanieb. For some 
little time afterwards, the safety of the place depended upon the 
Ranger, which, on December 6th, opened fire with some effect 
upon the Arabs. 3 

In the meantime it was decided in London and at Cairo 
temporarily to abandon Kordofan and the Upper Nile ; and General 
Charles George Gordon was ordered to Khartum to give effect to 
that decision. Valentine Baker Pasha was simultaneously sent 
to Trinkitat, with 2500 fresh men, and ten British officers, to effect 
the relief of Sinkat and Tokar. Hewett was given full powers on 
the Eed Sea littoral, and 300 Marines from the Mediterranean fleet 
were despatched to him, the corvette Carysfort, Captain Walter 
Stewart, and the torpedo-depot ship Hecla, Captain Arthur Knyvet 
Wilson, being also ordered thence to the threatened spot. On 
February 4th, 1884, there was a further catastrophe. Baker's 
heterogeneous force, which was then moving between Trinkitat 

1 The activity of the Mahdi caused a certain amount of sympathetic unrest in 
Egypt proper. In Ap. 1883, the Iris, Capt. Ernest Rice, and in Feb., 1884, the 
Monarch, Capt. Fredk. Geo. Denham Bedford, and another vessel, had to land men 
at Port Said by way of precaution against serious disturbances. 

2 With local rank of \ 7 ice-Adm. 

s Times, Nov. 16 and 24 : Dec. 10 and 12, 1883. 

1884.] THE BATTLE OF EL TEB. 351 

and Tokar, was routed with terrible loss at El Teb by a numerically 
inferior body of the enemy. 

Upon this, Hewett landed at Suakin 150 seamen and Marines 
from his flagship, the Euryalus, Captain Alexander Plantagenet 
Hastings, from the Eanger, and from the gunboat Coquette, Lieu- 
tenant Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe, to assist in manning the fortifica- 
tions ; and the British government determined to send a British 
force, chiefly made up of troops from Egypt and returning drafts 
from India, under Maj. -General Sir Gerald Graham, to relieve 
Tokar. Sinkat, unhappily, fell at about the same time, after a 
gallant defence, its garrison being killed almost to a man. 1 

General Graham, like Baker Pasha, began his march inland 
from Trinkitat, a coast town a few miles south of Suakin, and 
utilised in his advance a fort which Baker had constructed, a few 
bluejackets and Marines being sent ahead to hold it. At 8 A.M. on 
February 29th, the whole force, about 3900 strong, moved forward, 
and was soon upon the scene of Baker's defeat. The British 
marching formation was practically that of a hollow square, with 
the transport in the centre. Half a battery of the Naval Brigade, 
with 2 Gatling and 1 Gardner machine-guns, was on the left front 
under Flag-Lieutenant Walter Hodgson Bevan Graham, of the 
Euryalus ; another half battery, with 2 Gardners and 1 Gatling, 
under Captain Walter Stewart, of the Carysfort, was on the right 
front ; and in the rear centre was the bulk of the Brigade, 2 115 
strong, with two 9-prs., under Commander Ernest Neville Eolfe, 3 
of the Euryalus. With the column were also about 400 Koyal 
Marine Light Infantry and Artillery, under Colonel Henry Brasnell 
Tuson, R.M.A. Bear-Admiral Hewett, and Commander Crawford 
Caffin were with General Graham. 

At about 11.20 A.M., the enemy, nearly 10,000 in number, and 
entrenched on rising ground near El Teb, in front of the advance, 
opened fire as well from musketry as from several Krupp guns, 
some of which were worked by Egyptian artillerymen who had 
been made prisoners on the occasion of Baker Pasha's disaster. 
The position was shelled, and the line of advance was changed in 
such a manner that the column had passed nearly to the rear of 

1 Times, Nov. 16, 24, etc., 1883 ; A. & N. Gaz., Dec. 15, 1883 ; Feb. 9 and 16, 1884. 

2 From the Euryalus, Carysfort, Hecla, Briton, Capt. Andrew James Kennedy, 
Dryad, Com. Edward Grey Hulton, and Sphinx, Com. Crawford Caffin. 

3 With Lieut. William Hughes Hallett Montresor, of the Euryalus, as adjutant. 


the entrenchments ere the final attack took place. Thus the rear 
of the square became ultimately the face which was nearest to the 
enemy, It was in the course of this movement that Lieutenant 
Frank Massie Koyds, of the Carysfort, was fatally hit. He was 
taken back to Trinkitat at great risk by a party under Surgeon 
Thomas Desmond Gimlette, of the Euryalus, but died next day. 

The tribesmen made repeated and most heroic attempts to rush 
the square, coming on in dense masses, but being mown down in 
hundreds at close quarters by machine-gun and rifle fire. At length 
they were driven back. 

Captain Wilson, of the Hecla, had attached himself to the right 
half battery of machine-guns, in place of Lieutenant Royds, and 
moved out from the square to the attack of the first of the enemy's 
batteries. At the same moment, the Arabs made a dash upon a 
corner of the square where a detachment was dragging one of the 
Gardners. Wilson rushed to the front, endeavouring especially to 
protect a Marine who was hard pressed, and was at once surrounded 
by five or six Arabs, who engaged him in personal combat. His 
sword broke short off, but he continued to fight with his fists and 
sword-hilt, until some men of the York and Lancaster Regiment 
intervened with their bayonets. He received a scalp wound, but, 
after having it dressed, was able to remain with the advance. For 
this piece of gallantry he was deservedly awarded 1 the Victoria 

The guns in this first battery were captured by 12.20 P.M., and, 
under the direction of Major William Guise Tucker, E.M.A., were 
turned at once upon the enemy's second position a large brick 
building with loopholed walls, surrounded by rifle-pits. In the 
capture of this position, the Naval Brigade, headed by Lieutenant 
W. H. B. Graham, bore a leading part. The village of El Teb was 
then cleared ; and the last position was rushed at about 2 P.M., two 
Krupp guns, one Gatling, one brass gun, and two rocket-tubes being 
captured in it. Thereupon the Arabs fled, after having suffered an 
estimated loss of 1500 in killed alone. In the assault, both Sir 
William Hewett and Commander Caffin participated. 2 Besides 
Lieutenant Eoyds, three seamen were killed. 3 

In his general order after the action, Sir Gerald Graham wrote : 

1 May 21, 188k 

2 Times, Mar. 3 : Desps. of Hewett, Graham, and Buller : A. & N. Gaz. Mar. 8, 1884_ 

3 Total British loss, 34 killed, 155 wounded. 

1884.] ACTION AT TAMAI. ."53 

"The Genera] Officer thanks the Xaval Brigade for their cheerful endurance during 
the severe work of dragging the guns over difficult countr}', when suffering from heat 
and scarcity of water, and for their ready gallantry and steadiness under fire while 
serving the guns. The Naval Brigade contributed materially to the success of the 
action, and the General Officer commanding cannot too highly express his thanks 
for, their services." 

Among those who were favourably mentioned in the various 
despatches were Commander Ernest Neville Eolfe, Lieutenants 
W. H. B. Graham, W. H. H. Montresor, Walter Byrom Alrnack, 
Crawford James Markland Conybeare, and Houston Stewart (2) ; 
Surgeon T. D. G-imlette ; Midshipman Edward Matson Hewett ; 
and Gunner Richard Archibald Cathie, of the Sphinx. The last 
displayed great bravery in personal encounters with the enemy, 
and was specially thanked both by Rear-Admiral Hewett and by 
Commander Rolfe. It was in consequence of his admirable conduct 
on this and other occasions that he received the exceptional recog- 
nition of promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in 1887. ; 

The inhabitants of Tokar were relieved on the 30th. The 
Egyptian garrison of the place had already made terms and sur- 
rendered to Osman Digna. The force began its return to Trinkitat 
on March 2nd, re-embarked l for Suakin on March 5th, and com- / 

pleted its disembarkation there on March 9th. The next object to 
be attained was the dispersal of the Arabs who were beleaguering 

The new advance began on the evening of March llth. At 
night the force lay in a zeriba about eight miles from Suakin. 
There information was received to the effect that Osman Digna's 
army was assembled in Khor Ghob, a ravine between the zeriba and 
the village of Tamai. At 8.30 A.M. on the 12th the force again 
moved forward in two echeloned squares, the left and leading one of 
which, composed of the second brigade, under General J. Davis, 
comprised the Naval Brigade, which was constituted much as 
before, though without any contingent from the Carysfort. The 
Naval Brigade marched just behind the front face of the square, 
and in front of the reserve ammunition. The left front face and 
left flank were filled by the York and Lancaster Regt., and the 
right front face and right flank by the Royal Highlanders (42nd). 
The rear was formed of the Royal Marines. 2 About 4 P.M., being 
then in touch with the enemy, General Graham, after firing a few 

1 Under superintendence of Capt. A. J. Kennedy, of the Jiriton. 

2 The Naval Brigade and Roy. Marines numbered 14 officers and 464 men, with 
3 Gardners, and 3 Gatlings. 

VOL. VIT. 2 A 


rounds from his guns, made a second zeriba, whence, at 8.20 A.M. 
on the 13th, the advance was resumed. During the night the 
sniping had been very troublesome, and the enemy close at hand. 
Nevertheless, in the darkness, Commander liolfe had stolen out, 
passed the Arab lines, and secured some very valuable information. 
At sunrise the guns and machine-guns had opened on the enemy, 
and driven him to his main position. General Graham joined, and 
led, the second brigade. 

The first, or rearmost brigade, did not get in motion quite so 
promptly as had been expected. There was consequently a gap of 
unpremeditated breadth between the two squares. Across the line 
of advance lay the Khor. A few minutes after starting, the second 
brigade was halted, reformed, and moved up towards the edge of 
the ravine, beyond which many Arabs could be seen. Some ugly 
rushes were made by the Dervishes, but they were stopped ; and 
within about 200 yards from the Khor the word was given to charge. 

The Naval Brigade, with its guns, and the 42nd, dashed forward 
instantly at the double, leaving the York and Lancaster, to which 
no order had been given, still holding the left front and flank of the 
original square. The guns were already in hot action ; the smoke 
hung heavy in the breezeless air ; and, taking advantage of this, a 
mass of tribesmen who had lain concealed in a small nullah running 
at right angles with the Khor, crept up and rushed upon the York 
and Lancasters from behind. Terrible confusion ensued, and the 
brigade was broken up, although there was no actual panic. On the 
contrary, the troops displayed great gallantry, and presently rallied 
round their officers, forming a number of little squares, and fighting 
back to back. Major George Harrie Thorn Colwell, K.M., collected 
about 150 of his men, and made a most useful stand ; yet the 
remnant of the square was driven about 800 yards to the left rear. 

In the meantime, the Naval Brigade, which had advanced with 
its guns to the verge of the Khor, found itself cut off from its 
ammunition, and unable to continue the offensive. The men formed 
round their useless pieces and fought desperately ; but, after they 
had lost three of their officers, Lieutenants William Hughes Hallett 
Montresor (Eunjahts), Walter Byrom Almack (Briton), and Houston 
Stewart (2) (Dryad), besides seven bluejackets, they disabled and 
abandoned their guns, and also fell back as best they could. 

With the help of the first brigade's fire, order was at length 
restored. The first brigade then checked the enemy, advanced in 


splendid order, and, aided by dismounted cavalry, retrieved the 
situation ; whereupon the second brigade rallied on the Marines, 
and once more presented an unbroken front. As soon as fresh 
ammunition had been served out, it advanced again over the lost 
ground ; and the Naval Brigade had the satisfaction of regaining 
possession of all its lost guns except one Gatling, which, with its 
limber, had been rolled into the ravine. Indeed, even this gun was 
eventually recovered, though the limber was found to have been 

When the Khor had been cleared, the first brigade crossed it. 
The Arabs, by that time, had had enough of fighting, and offered 
but little further resistance. By noon their camp and wells were 
occupied. In this action at Tamai they had lost 2000 killed. The 
total British loss had been 109 killed and 104 wounded. In addition 
to the three officers and the seven men of the Naval Brigade who 
were killed, Lieutenant Crawford James Markland Conybeare 
(Hecla) and six seamen were wounded. On the 14th, the force 
returned to its first zeriba, and, on the 18th, re-entered Suakin. 

Among those whose names were specially mentioned by Com- 
mander Eolfe for gallant conduct at Tamai were Midshipmen 
Edward Carey Tyndale-Biscoe and Edward Matson Hewett, both 
of the Euryalus. At the critical moment, when the three 
Lieutenants fell, these youngsters took command of the sub- 
division, and acted with great coolness and bravery. Lieutenant 
Walter Hodgson Bevan Graham was also praised. At Tamai, how- 
ever, there were many heroes. 1 

Bear-Admiral Hewett put a price on Osman Digna's head, but, 
at the instance of the British Government, withdrew the proclama- 
tion. He also made various efforts to bring in the rebellious tribes, 
and to keep open the road to Berber, so as to preserve a way of 
retreat for the garrison at Khartum. In these, however, he was 
not very successful ; and at the end of March he went to Massowah, 
whence he presently proceeded on a very interesting and useful 
mission to King John of Abyssinia. In view of his absence, Captain 
Robert Henry More Molyneux was appointed 2 Commodore in the 
lied Sea, with his broad pennant in the Sphinx. In spite of the 
station where he served, he was attached to the Mediterranean fleet. 

1 Times, Mar. 12, 14, 17, etc. ; Roylp, 'Egyptian Campaigns,' 291, etc. ; Burleigh, 
' Desert Warfare,' 1 59, etc. ; Desps. ; Genl. Order of Mar. 16. 

2 May 1, 1884. 

2 A 2 


Among the honours and promotions granted for this brief but 
bloody campaign were the following : 

To be C.B., Capts. Hilary Gustavus Andoe ' and Ernest Neville Rolfe (May 21, 1884). 
To be Capt., Com. E. N. Bolfe (May 20). 

To be Com., Lieuts. Henry Charles Bigge, 2 William Douglas Morrisli, 3 Walter 
Hodgson Bevan Graham, and Crawford James Markland Conybeare (May 20). 
To be Lieut., Sub.-Lieut. Percy Douglas Melville Henderson (May 20). 
To be Staff-Corn., Nav.-Lieut. Frederick Hire* (May 20). 
To be Insp. of Mach., Chf. Eng. George Thomas Crook " (May 20). 
To be Staff-Surg., Surg. Horace Edward Firmin Cross (May 20). 
To be Fleet-Surg., Staff-Surg. James Hamilton Martin (May 20). 
To be Paym., Asst. Paym. James Auten Bell (May 20). 

As part of the garrison of Suakin, a battalion of Eoyal Marines 
was left, first under Lieutenant Colonel Albert Henry Ozzard, and 
afterwards under Lieut. -Colonel Nowell FitzUpton Way. It did 
long and arduous service in and about the wretched town, and, as 
will be seen, fought again there, and consistently maintained the 
ancient credit of the force. More trying, however, than any enemy 
were the climate and dismal surroundings, against the subtle in- 
fluences of which, be it said, the moral of the Marines stood as firm 
as against the onslaughts of the Arabs. This history records only 
incidentally and briefly the gallant work of this splendid force, the 
main purpose being to chronicle the progress and services of the 
Eoyal Navy proper ; but it would be as unwelcome to the Navy as 
to the author to attempt wholly to dissociate the exploits of the 
sea-soldiers from those of the bluejackets with whom they are so 
commonly shipmates and comrades in arms, and who have such 
excellent and lasting reasons for being proud of the fellowship. 
Indeed, an apology is needed for the somewhat curt manner in 
which, owing to considerations of space, the history of the Eoyal 
Marines has necessarily been dealt with here. 

As early as March, 1884, it became apparent that General 
Gordon's withdrawal from Khartum would be difficult, if not im- 
possible, unless a helping hand were held out to him, either along 
the Nile or by way of Suakin and Berber. 6 To reach Khartum from 

1 Of the Orontes; transport offr. at Trinkitat and Suakin. 

2 Employed in condensing and storing water at Suakin. 

8 Beachmaster at Trinkitat and Suakin. * Harbour-master at Suakin. 

8 Superitnended condensing and distilling at Suakin. In 1882, this officer at Suez 
gained distinction by wedging down the safety valve of a dilapidated crane's boiler, in 
order to hoist two locomotives which otherwise could not have been lifted (Hext : Rep. 
on Com. and Transp. Serv. in Egypt). 

6 Authorities for the history of the Gordon Relief Expedition : Desps. ; Par). 
Papers, c. 4280, 4345, and 4392 (1884-85) ; Colvile, ' Hist, of Sudan Campaign ' (1887) ; 

1884,] GORDON IN PERIL. 357 

Cairo involved a journey of 1650 miles up a river full of cataracts, 
and, except at times of flood, unnavigable by any but small craft. 
To reach Khartum from Suakin entailed a desert march of about 
250 miles, of which one section of 52 miles was waterless, and then 
a voyage or further march of 210 miles up the Nile from Berber. 
The military authorities in Egypt strongly favoured the Suakin- 
Berber route, and in this view they were supported by Vice-Admiral 
Lord John Hay, K.C.B., who had succeeded Lord Alcester as Com- 
mander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, and who sent Captain Eobert 
Henry More Molyneux up the Nile as far as Wady Haifa to survey 
the course of that stream. On the other hand, General Sir Garnet 
Wolseley, who was Adjutant-General in London, and who was 
likely to command the relief force, if one were sent, was as strongly 
in favour of the all-river route. His experiences during the Bed 
Eiver Expedition in Canada, in 1870, led him to believe that rapid 
and sure progress could be made by means of specially built whale- 
boats, where steamers could not be employed. His view was backed 
up by a rather lame report from three other officers who had served 
with him in Canada. General Sir F. C. Stephenson, who com- 
manded the British army of occupation in Egypt, was still un- 
convinced ; but, after much delay and hesitation, the authorities in 
England adopted the opinion of Wolseley. 

In the meantime, in May, half a battalion of British troops was 
moved up to Wady Haifa, and Commander Tynte Ford Hammill 
was directed to make a survey of the river above that point, with a 
view to determining the difficulties of the route ; while, on the other 
hand, some preliminary preparations were made for laying down a 
narrow-gauge railway westward from Suakin. The Nile route, 
however, was formally decided on on August 26th, and General 
Stephenson was informed that Sir Garnet Wolseley would command 
the expedition. Wolseley reached Cairo on September 9th. 

On August 12th the construction of the necessary 800 flat- 
bottomed " whale-boats " had been begun. The first batch of boats 
reached Wady Haifa on October 14th, and on October 26th the first 
boats were hauled up the second cataract. Eight steam pinnaces 
and two stern-wheel paddle-boats were also equipped for the 
expedition. To assist in the upward navigation, 377 Canadian 

lloyle, ' Egypt. Camps.' ; Corresp. of Times ; Slatin, ' Fire and Sword in the Sudan ' ; 
H. Brackenbury, 'The Kiver Column'; Sir C. W. Wilson, 'From Korti to Khartum'; 
var. priv. journals, etc. 


boatmen (" voyageurs ") were engaged. Although most plucky 
and energetic, they did not give unqualified satisfaction ; and it 
was afterwards regretted that the whole work of water transport 
was not entrusted to the "Naval Brigade. They were, however, 
very useful when it became necessary to descend the stream. 

It should be borne in mind that on April 19th a telegram had 
been received at Cairo to the effect that Gordon, at the date of its 


id HaisHix /r 6 > *Calareici 
ernat I . 


despatch, had provisions for five months, and was already hemmed 
in. It should also be borne in mind that in the summer the most 
optimist authorities did not believe that Gordon, even if Khartum 
were not taken by force or treachery, could hold out beyond the 
middle of November. These facts indicate how late the work of 
relief was begun. Gordon actually managed to hold out until 
January 26th, 1885, when his nearest friends were still some miles 
from him. The truth is not only that there was fatal delay in 
starting, but also that the difficulties of the upward passage of the 
1 Gubat should be marked below, instead of above Metemmeh. 


great river were realised only too late by those who were responsible 
for the choice of the route. 

The early work of the Navy in connection with this ill-starred 
but gallant adventure was confined to surveying and preparing the 
channel, and helping the steamers and boats over the cataracts and 
through the numerous rapids. Commander Hammill's services at 
that period were invaluable, and a tackle invented by him for 
hauling boats against a strong stream was especially useful. On 
November 3rd, Lord Wolseley in person reached Dongola ; and on 
the 26th, he appointed his naval A.D.C., Captain Lord Charles 
William Delapoer Beresford, to the command of the Naval Brigade 
on the Nile. The advance from Dongola of such part of the ex- 
peditionary force as was then ready began on December 2nd, and 
on December 15th the headquarters of the army were advanced to 
Korti, a town lying at the northern end of the chord of a vast and 
difficult bend which is made by the river in its descent from Shendi. 1 
By desert, Korti and Shendi are less than 200 miles apart. By 
water the distance is more than twice as great. On the bend are 
the fourth and fifth cataracts, a multitude of islets and rapids, and 
the towns of Abu-Hamed and Berber; but in 1884-85 that particular 
stretch of the Nile was practically unknown. 

The Naval Brigade, 2 of which Lord Charles Beresford took com- 
mand, was composed as follows at the beginning of January, 1885 : 

FIRST DIVISION : Lieuts. Alfred Pigott, Rudolph Edward de Lisle, George William 
Tyler, 3 and Robert Archibald James Montgomerie 3 ; Sub-Lieut. Edward 
Lionel Munro; Boatswain James Webber, and 51 petty-officers and seamen. 
One Gardner machine-gun. 4 

SECOND DIVISION : Lieuts. Edmund Barker van Koughnet and Richard Poore ; 
Sub-Lieuts. Edward Ernest Hardy, and Colin Richard Keppel ; Chf. Eng. 
Henry Ben bow ; Eng. George Sparkes ; Surg. Arthur William May, and 50 
petty officers and seamen. One Gardner machine-gun. 4 

NOTE. Lord Chas. Beresford was borne (Sept. 2, 1884, to July 13, 1885), in the 
Hibernia, 6 flagship at Malta. The other officers and men were borne in 
the Alexandra, Helicon, Inflexible, Invincible, Iris, Monarch, Superb, or 
Temeraire, of the Mediterranean fleet. 

1 Nearly opposite which is Metermneh, ou the left bank. 

2 This was in addition to various naval detachments employed lower down the 
Nile under Capts. Fredk. Geo. Denham Bedford, and Fredk. Ross Boardman. 

3 Joined at Gubat. 4 Rifle calibre (15-in.'), with five barrels. 

6 This was cancelled in Sept., 1885, and his name was erased from the books of the 
Hibernia and transferred to those of the Alexandra, so as to enable Lord C.'s service to 
count as sea time, though he was not allowed to count it as service in command of a 
ship of war. This seems to have been a hardship, looking to the work which he did 
in the Soudan, and to the fact that the denial threatened at one time to prevent his 
further promotion. 


It had at length become painfully clear that, if Gordon was to 
be saved at all, he must be saved quickly. It was, therefore, decided 
at Korti to split the relieving force into two columns. One, the 
desert column, under Colonel Sir Herbert Stewart, was to march 
overland to Metemmeh, a few miles above Shendi, and there to 
pick up the steamers which Gordon had promised to send thither 
from Khartum. The other, the river column, under Maj. -General 
Earle, was to continue the movement up the Nile valley, and 
ultimately to join hands with Stewart at Metemmeh. Earle started 
from Korti on December 28th, accompanied by a small naval de- 
tachment. Lord Charles Beresford reached Korti on January 4th 
from Dal, where he had been engaged in the preliminary work of 
the expedition. On the following day, Stewart, who had been into 
the desert to occupy and establish a depot at Jakdul Wells, 1 96 miles 
on the road to Metemmeh, returned to Korti ; and, on the 8th, he 
started again for Metemmeh, accompanied by Beresford and the 
first division of the naval contingent, the second division, which was 
following, not having then arrived. 

Jakdul was reached once more on January 12th; on the 13th, 
Colonel Burnaby arrived at the wells with a convoy of grain ; and on 
the 14th the advance was resumed. The column then consisted of 
part of the Naval Brigade, three 7-pr. screw guns manned by Eoyal 
Artillerymen, three troops of the 19th Hussars, the Heavy Camel 
Regt., 2 the Guards Camel Eegt., the Sussex Eegt., and some Mounted 
Infantry and Eoyal Engineers, making, with the Transport and 
Medical Corps, a total of 1581 men, 90 horses, 2880 camels, 340 
drivers, and 4 guns. 

On the evening of the 16th, the enemy was first discovered, 
scouts reporting the Arabs to be in large force about four miles 
ahead, posted to intercept communication with the wells of Abu 
Klea. A zeriba of thorn bushes was formed, and the column lay 
within it for the night, the dervishes sniping continually from low 
hills on the right flank, and increasing their fire at dawn. In the 
morning it was hoped for some time that the Soudanese would 
attack the camp ; and for fully three hours the whole force stood 
ready to repel them if they did. As they did not, and as the sniping 
continued, Stewart decided to fight his way to the wells, leaving, 
meanwhile, a guard over the baggage in the zeriba. He formed 

1 Where Col. Dorward, R.E., with about 400 men, was left in charge. 

2 Including Marines. 

1885.] ABU KLEA. 06! 

square on a clear space 400 yards in advance of the zeriba, placing 
forty * of the Naval Brigade, with the Gardner gun, in the centre of 
the rear force, but directing Beresford, in case of fighting, to put 
the gun where it would be most useful. Within the square were 
camels laden with water, ammunition, etc. 

Soon after 9 A.M. on January 17th the square moved off under 
a very annoying fire from the left flank, and advanced about two 
miles. Presently, as a low hill was cleared, a line of flags was 
seen planted along the edge of some high grass, not much more 
than 400 yards from the left flank of the square, which was there- 
upon halted in order that its rear might close up. Almost instantly 
a V-shaped mass of dervishes, estimated to number 6000, sprang 
from the grass, and, encouraged by about 40 horsemen, charged 
at a great pace over the intervening ground. Beresford promptly 
ran his Gardner from the centre of the rear face to a point on 
the flank, near the left rear corner of the square, and opened fire ; 
and, as the square closed up, he and his men were left just outside 
it. After firing about forty rounds, he perceived that the gun had 
rather too much elevation, and ordered "cease fire," in order that 
the error might be corrected. About thirty rounds more had been 
fired, with excellent effect, when the gun jammed, owing to the 
extractor of one of the barrels pulling off the head of a discharged 
cartridge, and leaving the cylinder in the chamber. The Arabs were 
then but '200 yards from the detachment. Says Lord Charles : 

" The captain of the gun (Rhodes, Chief Boatswain's Mate) and myself unscrewed 
the plate to clear the barrel, or take the lock of the jammed barrel out, when the 
enemy were upon us. Rhodes was killed with a spear. Walter Miller, armourer, I 
also saw killed with a spear at the same moment on my left. I was knocked down in 
the rear of the gun, but uninjured, except a small spear scratch on the left hand. The 
crowd and crush of the enemy was very great at this point, and, as it struggled up, I 
was carried against the face of the square, which was literally pushed back by sheer 
weight of numbers about twelve paces from the position of the gun. The crush was 
so great that at the moment few on either side were killed ; but, fortunately, this flank 
of the square had been forced up a very steep little mound, which enabled the rear 
rank to open a tremendous fire over the heads of the front rank men. This relieved 
the pressure, and enabled the front rank to bayonet or shoot those of the enemy 
nearest them." 

None of the Arabs got into the square at that point, which was 
held by the Mounted Infantry ; and very quickly the Gardner and 
the survivors of its detachment were again within the line. 
Finding, however, that that particular point was impregnable, the 

1 The rest were left in the zeriba. 

3(52 milTAllY JI1STORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1857-1900. 

mass of dervishes surged round the left rear corner, passed along 
the rear face for a short distance, and then burst in. It was during 
this brief irruption, for the onslaught was soon repulsed, that 
Colonel Burnaby was killed. . The British fire was too heavy to 
allow of many getting in, and the few who did get in lived only 
for a few seconds. Then the gallant tribesmen drew off slowly, 


(From the picture lij Mrs. H. It. Mttnro.) 

[By permission of the Lords of the Admiralty.] 

until they were screened by a nullah and a hillock from the storm 
of bullets and shells that followed them. 

The Naval Brigade, which went into action 40 strong, lost on 
this desperate occasion 8 killed and 7 wounded, among the former 
being Commander Alfred Pigott, 1 and Lieutenant de Lisle. The 
losses of the army, though much less great in proportion, were also 

1 This excellent officer had been promoted a short time before his death, but never 
knew of his advancement. 

1885.] METKMMEII. 363 

serious. The slaughter of the enemy was enormous, probably 
amounting to more than one-fourth of his strength in killed alone. 

At 2.30 P.M. the square re-formed, and moved on without further 
opposition to Abu Klea wells, which were occupied soon after 
5 o'clock. There the force bivouacked for the night in a defensive 
position, suffering terribly from cold, and from lack of provisions, 
until the zeriba detachment and the baggage-camels joined on the 
following morning. A fort was built meanwhile for the protection 
of the wounded, who were to be left at the wells in charge of a 
detachment of the Sussex Regiment. 

At 2 P.M. on January 18th the column again marched, and 
pursued its tedious way all through the afternoon and following 
night, until 6.30 A.M. on the 19th, when the Nile was sighted ahead, 
and Metemmeh on the left front. Colonel Stewart had intended 
to strike the river some miles to the westward, but had had reason 
to suspect his guide, whom he had put under arrest, and, altering 
his direction, had gone too far to the eastward. Thus, instead of 
touching the river at a point where there was no enemy, he 
sighted it under the eyes of a large dervish garrison, which lost 
no time in opening fire on him. To give the hungry and weary 
men an opportunity of breakfasting, he formed a temporary zeriba. 
Unhappily the enemy's practice was very good, and the column 
suffered severely, Stewart himself being among those mortally 
hit, and Major William Hutcheson Poe, 1 E.M. and Sub-Lieutenant 
Munro, E.N., among the wounded The Gardner was stationed 
where it was conceived that it would be most useful ; but it could 
effect little, the tribesmen lying in the grass, and showing them- 
selves hardly at all. Colonel Sir Charles William Wilson, K.E., 
took over the command, and the zeriba was strengthened, two 
redoubts being ultimately thrown up to cover it. 

About 10 A.M. a square was formed in rear of the zeriba ; and 
presently it moved away in order to get touch with the river. The 
zeriba, with about 300 men in it, was left under the command of 
Lord Charles Beresford, and Colonel Barrow, who put into the 
larger redoubt all the sick and wounded, three of the four 7-prs., 
and the Gardner gun, and caused the camels, about 2000 in number, 
to lie down outside it. In the meantime the fire of the dervishes 
never ceased. 

The advance of the square was covered to some extent by the 
1 C.B. for tliis service. 


fire of the guns and the Gardner, but, nevertheless, it was most 
fiercely opposed by more than one V-shaped column of dervishes. 
The tribesmen, however, did not succeed in getting within thirty 
yards of the British rifles, and at length broke and fled, most of 
them retiring to Meternmeh. After a two and a half mile inarch 
the square reached the Nile ; and from 1.20 P.M. onwards the Arabs 
fired no more at the zeriba and redoubts. 1 On the 20th, leaving 
a guard at the river, the square returned, and picked up the party 
from the zeriba, including, of course, the wounded. The reunited 
force marched forward again at 4 P.M., and at nightfall occupied and 
encamped in the village of Gubat, a few miles below Metemmeh. 
By that time some of the horses had had no water for two, and 
most of the camels no water for five days. 

On January 21st, the greater part of the force made -a recon- 
naissance of Metemmeh, Boatswain James Webber having charge 
of the Gardner in consequence of all the other naval officers who 
were at the front, Beresford only excepted, having been killed or 
badly wounded. While the defences of the town were being 
engaged, Gordon's four little steamers, the Bordein, Safieh, Tew- 
fikieh, and Telahawiyeh, came down the river from Khartum. 
They brought word that a body of devishes from Khartum was 
advancing towards Metemmeh to meet the relief column. The 
reconnaissance, which otherwise would have ended in a serious 
attack on the town, was therefore abandoned ; and the column, 
accompanied by the steamers, returned to Gubat, the camp at 
which place was strengthened. Lord Charles Beresford took the 
crazy craft in hand with characteristic energy, and, by 3 P.M. on 
January 22nd, reported them as ready to proceed up the river. 
He was then so ill as to be unable to walk, so that, unhappily, 
he was scarcely in a condition to assume charge of them on a 
service demanding to the full extent every qualification that the 
best naval officer can possess. As for the other naval officers, all 
save Webber, as has been said, had been put out of action. 
Nevertheless, Lord Charles might, and no doubt would, have taken 
command, and pushed on at once, had it been considered desirable 
that he should do so, and would have carried out the original plan ; 
which was that he should man two of the steamers from the 
Naval Brigade, take on board Sir Charles Wilson and fifty men 
of the Sussex Regt., and steam instantly for Khartum. It was 
1 This action is sometimes spoken of as that of Abu Kru. 


deemed impossible to persist with this project ; moreover, it was 
deemed impossible for any of the steamers to start southward at all 
until the 24th. In spite of this, however, it was deemed desirable 
that Lord Charles, with the Bordein and the Telahawiyeh, should 
go a few miles down the river to Shendy, into which place he fired 
a few shells ; but no opposition was there met with. 

On January 24th, Sir Charles Wilson himself started for 
Khartum with the Bordein and Telahawiyeh, 20 British soldiers 
in red coats, and about 260 Soudanese. He did not take Lord 
Charles with him, nor did he supersede the Egyptian masters of 
the steamers and substitute British officers or petty officers for 
them. He merely put an engine-room artificer into each vessel. 
Colonel Boscawen was left in military charge at Gubat, where only 
922 men remained, Colonel the Hon. E. A. J. Talbot, with about 
400, having been sent back to Jakdul Wells to bring up provisions 
and to forward despatches to Lord Wolseley. The Egyptian 
soldiers who had come down in the Bordein, and who were not 
trusted, were ordered to garrison an island opposite the British 
camp, and Lord Charles Beresford, with a detachment of seamen 
and the Gardner gun, took up his quarters in the Safieh, and held 
himself ready to proceed at short notice to any spot at which his 
services might be needed. As for the Tewfikieh, to which the 
wounded Sir Herbert Stewart, then in a hopeless condition, 1 was 
transferred, she was used as a ferry boat between the camp and the 
island. In the meantime, Lord Charles, on the 24th, paid another 
brief visit to Shendy, where, this time, he was received with a hot 
fire from the enemy, whom he dispersed. Daily at 6 A.M., between 
January 25th and 30th, he weighed, and, with twenty picked marks- 
men on board, patrolled the river for some miles in each direction, 
capturing cattle, sheep, goats, fuel and vegetables, raiding villages, 
and, on one occasion, destroying a strong earthwork. The Safieh 
was invariably fired at in the course of these little expeditions, 
especially by parties on the left bank of the river, but the bullet- 
proof shields with which she had been fitted prevented casualties. 

Sir Charles Wilson, as might have been expected, met with 
delay, and finally with disaster. On the 25th, the Bordein 
grounded. On the 26th, she grounded again, and twenty-four 
hours were lost. At 11 A.M. on the 28th, Khartum was at length 
sighted, but it was soon seen to be in the hands of the Dervishes. 
1 He lingered, however, for several days. 


It had, in fact, fallen on the 26th. The steamers reconnoitred a 
little further up the river, 1 and then, turning round, began their 
return voyage under a heavy fire, the Soudanese on hoard evincing 
grave signs of disaffection. On the 29th, the Telahawiyeh was 
wrecked, and her crew, guns and ammunition had to be transferred 
to a large nuggar. Emissaries from the Mahdi approached under a 
flag of truce, chiefly in order to persuade the Egyptian Soudanese 
troops to surrender. By them a somewhat feeble demand was 
returned to the effect that a safe conduct should be sent to meet 
the expedition vipon its arrival at Wad-Habeshi, a post some miles 
lower down, which was held by about 5000 of the enemy. On the 
31st, the Bordein also was wrecked off the island of Mernat, 30 
miles south of Gubat, and a short distance above Wad-Habeshi, and 
everything in her had to be landed. 

With great pluck, Lieutenant E. J. Stuart-Montagu-Wortley, 
King's Royal Rifles, took a pulling boat and, starting by night, 
reached Gubat early in the morning of the following day. In his 
absence steps were taken to render the island defensible. 

Part of the second division of the Naval Brigade, under Lieutenant 
van Koughnet, had by that time joined Lord Charles, who, taking 
the Safieh, and manning her with small detachments from both 
divisions, and with twenty marksmen from the Mounted Infantry, 
departed up the river to endeavour to rescue Wilson's party. With 
him went the two Gardners' 2 and two 4-pr. brass mountain guns. 
The wretched Safieh could steam against the stream at the rate of 
about 2 - 5 kts. only, so that, even had there been no difficulties in 
the way of navigation, progress would have been extremely slow. 

Early on February 3rd, the Safieh sighted the enemy's 3-gun 
fort at Wad-Habeshi. The captains of the machine guns were 
warned to direct their fire solely and exclusively at the embrasures, 
with a view to endeavouring to prevent the gunners there from 
laying their pieces accurately on the steamer. These directions 
were so well carried out that although the Safieh, owing to her 
draught of water, had to pass within 80 yards of the work, the guns 
in the fort could not be fired at her so long as she was beam on. It 
was only when the steamer had passed the fort about 200 yards, and 
when the machine guns could no longer fire into the embrasures, 

1 As far as the Island of Tuti, at the junction of the Blue Nile with the White. 

2 These wtre mounted en echelon on their own cones on a j>latfoim raised above the 
steamer's bulwarks. 


that the enemy managed to put a shot into the crazy vessel's 

Before she lost way the Safieh was headed towards the opposite 
bank, and then, when she was about 500 yards from the work, the 
anchor was let go, a platform being at once extemporised aft, and 
one of the Gardners shifted to it. Kifle fire, even from the twenty 
picked marksmen, reinforced by fourteen bluejackets, had failed 
to keep the enemy's guns from being used ; but from 7 A.M. to 
8.30 P.M., this Gardner imposed silence upon the only gun which 
would then bear upon the steamer. Undoubtedly it saved the craft 
from destruction. Nearly at the moment of the mishap, Lieutenant 
van Koughnet was hit in the thigh, and a petty officer was mortally 
wounded. Two seamen were badly scalded by the escaping steam, 
and, in addition, the artificers, and, indeed, everyone in the stoke- 
hold, had been more or less injured by it. 

Beresford communicated with Wilson, and, by strategy, the 
rescued party was got past the fort in the darkness, the sick and 
wounded going down in a nuggar, which, though fired at, suffered 
very little, and the rest marching along the opposite bank. The 
enemy was also led to believe that both steamers were being 
abandoned, the result being that, having moved a gun, fired a 
few rounds at the Safieli, and received no reply, he ceased firing 
for the night. 

The damaged boiler had cooled by 11 A.M. Chief Engineer 
Henry Benbow went to work upon it as soon as he could touch 
it, and, after ten hours of unremitting labour, he succeeded in 
repairing it. 

"Too much credit," says Lord Charles, "cannot be given to this officer, as he had 
to shape the plate, bore the holes in plate and boiler, and run down the screws and 
nuts, almost entirely with his own hands, the artificers and everyone in the stoke hold 
having been scalded severely by the explosion when the shot entered the toilers. Tho 
plate was 16 inches by 14, so that some idea can be formed of the work entailed 
upon him." 

At 5 A.M. on February 4th, the fires were lighted again, every 
precaution, however, being taken to get up steam as quietly and 
unobstrusively as possible. At 5.50, when day was about to break, 
but when, happily, all was ready, the Dervishes seem first to have 
perceived that the Safieh had not been deserted. They burst forth 
into shouts of rage and brought guns to bear ; but, ere they could 
open fire, Beresford weighed and proceeded up the river, as if 
steaming for Khartum. He went only three-quarters of a mile or 


so, until, finding a place in which he could turn with safety, he put 
about, steamed back past the fort at his best speed, and used his 
Gardners and rifles with excellent effect. Below the fort he found 
the nuggar aground, with the sick and wounded still in her. She 
was within range of the tribesmen's guns ; and at once he sent 
Sub-Lieutenant Keppel in a boat, with a party of bluejackets, to her 
assistance, the Safieh herself anchoring hard by. It took a long 
time to lighten and float the craft ; and, in the course of the work, 
young Keppel was wounded. At length both steamer and nuggar 
were able to move down to the spot at which Sir Charles Wilson, 
with his party, was awaiting them. All were taken on board, and 
at 5.45 that afternoon the camp at Gubat was again reached. It 
had not been attacked. 

Nor was it attacked ; though undoubtedly it would have been but 
for the effect produced by the action at Wad-Habeshi. That action 
saved not only Wilson, but also the entire desert column. The 
fearful slaughter of his people at Abu Klea and Abu Kru had given 
the Mahdi a wholesome estimate of the power of British weapons ; 
but his success at Khartum had revived his spirits, and had en- 
couraged him to despatch an overwhelming force of at least 30,000 
men against Gubat. Beresford's behaviour caused the commander 
of this huge army to believe that the British were invincible in or 
near the water. The man, in consequence, halted or dawdled, his 
deliberate intention being to wait until the British should quit the 
neighbourhood of the river. He would then fall upon them in the 
desert and crush them. But he did not watch them closely enough. 
When they did move, they started suddenly, and marched more 
rapidly than he had expected, and he was never able to bring any 
considerable portion of his army into contact with them. The full 
value of Beresford's action did not appear at the time. It became 
evident, however, when, years afterwards, some of the European 
and other prisoners escaped from the Mahdi 's grasp and regained 
civilisation. Then it was shown that Beresford, Benbow, and their 
gallant fellows had done even better work than had been supposed. 1 

At Wad-Habeshi, 5400 rounds were fired from the Gardners, 
126 from the guns, and 2150 from the rifles. Lord Charles, in his 
report, gave special praise to Lieutenant van Koughnet, Sub- 
Lieutenant Keppel, Chief-Engineer Benbow, Boatswain Webber, 

1 Wingate to Wolseley, Mar. 18, 1893, enclosing evidence as to effect of Beresford's 



and Surgeon Arthur William May, and spoke in the highest terms 
of the behaviour of the whole of his little command. Benbow 
would have been recommended for the Victoria Cross had Lord 
Charles not been under the impression that that decoration was not 
available as a reward for such a service as the gallant officer had 
performed. Benbow, 1 however, received promotion to the rank of 
Inspector of Machinery. Another special and exceptional promotion 
was that of Boatswain Webber to be Chief Boatswain. In 1887, 
his services were further, and again exceptionally, recompensed, 
together with those of Gunner Cathie, by promotion to the rank 
of Lieutenant. 

In the interim, the situation of the desert column was quite 
misunderstood at Korti, where, as Sir G. S. Clarke says, " im- 
possible plans were formed." Happily, the command of the column 
was given to Major-General Sir Eedvers Buller, who left Korti on 
January 29th, and arrived at Gubat, with six companies of the 
Eoyal Irish, on February llth. Pending his arrival, the steamers 
were repaired, and, on February 7th, a raid was made with them, 
and some cattle and goats were captured ; but the steamers, 
especially the Safieli, which had been strained by the firing 
on February 3rd, leaked so badly that they had to return ere the 
objects of the expedition had been fully accomplished. 

Buller decided upon withdrawal to avert disaster. On February 
13th, Lord Charles Beresford spiked the guns 2 of the Safieh and 
Tewfikieh, and threw them into the river, together with their 
ammunition. He also disabled the steamers' engines. That night 
the Naval Brigade bivouacked on shore ; and on the following 
morning the desert column left Gubat on foot, there being no longer 
any camels available. Abu Klea was reached on the 15th, and the 
Naval Brigade, with its two Gardners, was ordered into the fort,, 
while the rest of the troops threw up earthworks. 3 Buller then sent, 
forward for reinforcements, camels, and additional ammunition, and., 
upon these reaching him, proceeded on February 23rd for Jakdul 
Wells, where he encamped on the 26th. The Naval Brigade and: 
part of the column left Jakdul two days later, and at length re- 
sighted Korti without further serious adventures. On the long 
march from Gubat not a single bluejacket fell out, in spite of the 

1 Benbow was also specially complimented by Lord Wolseley. 

2 Brass 4-prs. The Gardners were, of course, preserved and carried off. 

3 At Abu Klea the column was sniped severely at night. 

VOL. VII. 2 B 


fact that many of the men were shoeless, and that each carried rifle, 
cutlass, and seventy rounds of ammunition. The Brigade was 
inspected on March 8th by Lord Wolseley, and was then broken 
up into detachments and posted at intervals down the river 
below Korti. Lord Charles Beresford rejoined Lord Wolseley 
as naval A.D.C., and presently accompanied him to Suakin on a 
brief visit. 

Major-General Earle's river column, which, as has been said, 
left Korti on December 28th, 1884, encountered great difficulties in 
making its way up the Nile. On February 10th, 1885, it defeated 
about 800 Arabs at Kirbekan ; but among the 10 British officers and 
men killed in the action was Earle himself. 

Colonel Henry Brackenbury, who thereupon took command, 
continued the advance until, on February 24th, he was about 
twenty-six miles below Abu Hamed. There he received orders 
to retire, and, acting accordingly, he got back to Korti on March 
8th. The naval contingent, under Lieutenant William Theobald 
Bourke, attached to this force, was a very small one, and, in 
Brackenbury's book, "The River Column," l is scarcely mentioned. 
The work of navigation was done chiefly by the Canadian voyageurs, 
the bluejackets rendering frequent help, but confining their efforts 
chiefly to the management of their own craft, and of their single 
Gardner gun. 

In addition to the naval officers whose names have been already 
mentioned in the text, the following, among others, did duty on the 
Nile in connection with the futile relief expedition : 

Capt. Frederick Ross Boardman ; Corns. Tynte Ford Hammill, 2 and Julian 
Alleyne Baker; Lieuts. Charles Tatton Turner, 2 Charles Reeve, 2 William 
Crawford Reid, and George John Taylor ; Sub-Lieut. Francis Hungerford 
Pollen (Lieut. 4. 2. 85). 

Lord Charles Beresford and Captain Boardman were made Com- 
panions of the Bath on August 24th, 1885. 

So little was the true state of affairs in the Soudan understood 
by Lord Wolseley, that as late as January 8th, 1885, he demurred 
to the undertaking of active operations from Suakin, and added, 
" I am strong enough to relieve Khartum, and believe in being 

1 London, 1885. 

2 Promoted, Aug. 17, 1885. A previous batch of promotions, dated Feb. 4, 1885, 
had included Lieuts. E. B. van Koughnet, and Richard Poore ; and Sub-Lieut. Colin 
R. Keppel, whose names have appeared in the text. 


able to send a force, when returning by way of Berber, to Suakin, 
to open road and crush Osman Digna." 1 Even on February llth, 
when Buller was wisely deciding to retreat from Gubat, Wolseley 
was suggesting that the river column should attack Berber. By that 
time, however, he was willing that a railway should be made west- 
ward from Suakin, 2 and that a subsidiary expedition should enter 
the desert from the same direction. In a despatch of March 6th, 3 
he took a more pessimistic view, admitting that further military 
operations against Khartum would be impossible until about the 
end of the summer, when, if he persisted in them, he would require 
very large reinforcements. 

In the meanwhile the War Office had determined to make a 
serious effort on behalf of the restoration of British prestige in the 
eastern Soudan. Osman Digna was to be crushed, and the Berber 
railway was to be constructed. To this end, about 13,000 men, 
including a Naval Brigade, the battalion of Marines, a brigade from 
India, and a field battery from New South Wales,* were assembled 
at Suakin in March, under Lieut. -General Sir Gerald Graham. 

The Naval Brigade was drawn from the following vessels of 
Commodore Molyneux's Red Sea division of the Mediterranean 
fleet, viz. : 

Carysfort, corvette, Captain Walter Stewart; Dolphin, sloop, Com. Sydney 
Marrow Eardley-Wilmot ; Sphinx, paddle-vessel Commod. R. H. More 
Molyneux, C.B. ; Condor, gun-vessel, Com. William Cecil Henry Domville ; 
and Coquette, gunboat, Lieut. Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe. 

The greater part of the force marched out of Suakin, and 
occupied Hasheen, on March 20th, when the Eoyal Marines, under 
Lieut. -Colonel Albert Henry Ozzard, distinguished themselves, in 
conjunction with the Berkshire Regiment, by the capture of 
Dehilbat Hill. On the following day four Gardner guns from 
the ships were landed, and proceeded with the Naval Brigade to the 
front on the 22nd. 

The Brigade, with the Marines, formed part of a division which 
left Suakin for Tamai, under Major-General Sir J. McNeill, V.C., 
with orders to form a half-way zeriba. The column was encum- 
bered by a huge transport, and its advance was impeded by dense 
bush. At 10.30 A.M. it halted at Tofrik, about six miles out. The 

1 Wolseley to Hartington (teleg.). 2 Idem. 

8 Wolseley to Hartington. 

4 Did not land till Mar. 29, and so had no share in the principal actions. 

2 B 2 


zeriba was to take the shape of three squares en echelon, the 
centre square being the largest ; and at the outward corner of 
each of the small squares was to be a redoubt with two Gardner 
guns manned by the Naval contingent. The command of the 
north redoubt was given to Lieutenant Montagu Hamilton March 
Seymour (Dolphin) ; that of the southern one to Lieutenant 
Alfred Wyndham Paget (Carysfort), Commander Domville having 
general charge. As for the squares themselves, the northern one 
was entrusted to the Berkshire Eegiment, and the southern one 
to the Marines, while the large square, which was to contain the 
stores, etc., was entrusted to the Indian contingent. 

Long ere these somewhat elaborate defensive arrangements 
could be completed, a large body of Arabs attacked, soon after 
2.30 P.M. Partly owing to the rapidity of the onslaught, partly 
to the working detachments being without their arms, and partly 
to confusion occasioned in the ranks of the 17th Bengal Native 
Infantry by retiring cavalry riding through them, the northern 
square was rushed, Lieutenant Seymour and 6 of his bluejackets 
being killed in the effort to bring their Gardners into the redoubt 
assigned to them. The Arabs then burst into the centre square ; 
but the gallant Berkshires, standing firm and fighting back to back, 
cut off the Arabs in the square from those without, and broke the 
force of the attack. Many of the enemy, however, swept round 
upon the transport animals, which, in preparation for their return 
to Suakin, had been collected in rear of the Marines' square ; and 
they succeeded in stampeding the whole train through the zeriba. 
About half of it was lost. In twenty minutes, however, the rush 
of the tribesmen was repulsed, at least a thousand of the fanatics 
remaining dead upon the field. The total British casualties were 
heavy, though a large proportion of them occurred among camp- 
followers and other non-combatants. The Naval Brigade, in 
addition to the seven killed, had Surgeon Matthew Digan and four 
men wounded. 1 Commander Domville distinguished himself greatly. 
Two days later, as a force from Tamai was proceeding in square 
to meet a convoy from Suakin, about 10,000 Arabs attacked it. 
They were driven off, and lost about 500 killed, but not until they 
had captured 100 camels. On that occasion the British casualties, 
which were happily few in number, included Lieutenant Alfred 
Edmund Marchant, E.M., wounded. A somewhat similar affair 
1 Times, Mar. 24 and 25 ; Royle, and desps. 


occurred on March 26th. On April 2nd, about 7000 men, including 
the Naval Brigade, marched to Tesela Hill, and thence next day 
towards Tamai. Having burnt a number of huts in the Khor 
Ghob, they returned to Suakin ; and on April 6th the Naval 
Brigade re-embarked. A month later, threatenings of trouble 
arose on the Afghan border, the consequence being that, on 
May llth, Sir Gerald Graham's army was ordered to withdraw 
from Suakin, which thenceforth was left to the protection of a 
small Anglo-Indian garrison, and of the men-of-war in harbour. 
The withdrawal, and the simultaneous abandonment of the whole 
of the Sudan, strengthened both the hands and the prestige of 
Osman Digna, who compelled such native tribes as had not 
previously submitted to make terms with him. They also enabled 
him to turn his attention to the reduction of the Egyptian garrison 
at Kassala, the result being that the town capitulated to the 
Mahdists in August. Mr. Gladstone's government, which had 
consented to the evacuation of the Transvaal after Majuba, and 
of the Sudan after Khartum, had quitted office in June ; but the 
abandonment had then gone too far to be arrested. The work of 
reconquest had to be set about afresh, and under better guidance, 
in later years. 

In connection with the organisation of this second Suakin ex- 
pedition, most valuable services were rendered by Captain John 
Fellowes, 1 as principal transport officer, Commander William 
Llewellyn Morrison ; Lieutenants Thomas MacGill, 2 Alexander 
Milne Gardiner, 2 and William Blewett Fawckner ; Paymaster 
John William Seccombe ; Chief -Engineer Francis Ford ; and 
many other naval officers. Major Nowell FitzUpton Way, 3 E.M., 
who, as has been said, commanded the Koyal Marine battalion 
in succession to Lieut. -Colonel Ozzard, from April 3rd onward, 
was rewarded with the C.B. 

Previous to the arrival of General Graham's expedition, Com- 
modore Kobert Henry More Molyneux 4 had been largely responsible 
for the defence of Suakin, which, for many months, had been 
practically besieged by Osman Digna, and for the security of 
which the garrison had been numerically inadequate. Between 
March 26th, 1884, and May 14th, 1885, besides the vessels which 
have been mentioned already as having contributed to the Suakin 

1 C.B., Aug. 24, 1885. 3 Lt. Col., May 17, 1885. 

2 Corns., Aug. 17, 1885. 4 K.C.B., Nov. 7, 1885, for these services. 


Naval Brigade of 1885, the following l shared in the arduous work 
of keeping the Mahdists at a distance : 

Albacore, gunboat, Lieut. Palmer Kingsmill Sraytliies ; 2 Briton, corvette, Capt. 
Rodney Machine Lloyd; Cygnet, gunboat, Lieut. Alexander Milne Gardiner; 5 
Falcon, gun-vessel, (1) Com. John Eliot Pringle,' (2) Com. John George 
Jones ; Helicon, desp.-vessel, Lieut. Alfred Leigh Winsloe ; 2 Ilumber, troop 
and storeship, Com. Arnold John Errington ; Iris, desp.-vessel, Capt. Ernest 
Rice; Myrmidon, surv .-vessel, Com. Richard Frazer Hoskyn; Banger, gun- 
vessel, Com. John Pakenham Pipon; St.arliiig, gunboat, (1) Lieut. Francis 
William Sanders; 4 (2) Lieut. James Browning Young; Tyne, troop and 
storeship, (1) Com. Basil Edward Cochrane; 4 (2) Com. William Eveleigh 
Darwall ; We odlark, gun-vessel, Com. William Robert Clutterbuck. 

During the period, there were many affairs in which the boats 
or the guns were engaged, especially at night ; and, among the 
officers, none distinguished themselves more than Lieutenants 
Palmer Kingsmill Smythies, Francis George Kirby (Briton), Hugh 
Talbot (Cartjsfort), and Montagu Hamilton March Seymour, the 
last of whom afterwards fell at Tofrik. 

While the situation in Egypt, and the almost unchecked ascen- 
dancy in the Sudan of the authority of the Mahdi and his lieu- 
tenants, were still calling for so much activity on the part of the 
Navy, one or two interesting, though not very important matters 
occupied the attention of some of Her Majesty's ships in other 

The hostile action of the French Admiral, Courbet, 5 in China, 
in 1883-84, was indirectly responsible for the death of a promising 
young British naval officer. On September 6th, 1884, the gunboat 
Zephyr, Lieutenant Charles Kerr Hope, was proceeding up the 
Eiver Min, with her colours flying, when, nevertheless, she was 
mistaken for a French vessel, and fired upon by a Chinese fort. 
Lieutenant Godfrey Hubbard, who had been promoted less than 
three months before, was mortally wounded ere the error was 
discovered, and died on the 13th. The commandant of the fort 
was promptly disgraced ; and the Chinese government behaved so 
well over this unhappy affair that its good faith could not be 
impugned. A seaman was wounded 011 the same occasion, but 
fortunately recovered. 6 

1 To the crews of which medals were granted. 

2 Promd. June 30, 1885. 3 Ib. Aug. 17, 1885. < Jb. Dec. 31, 1884. 

5 On Aug. 23, 1884, he destroyed a Chinese squadron in the River Min, and bom- 
barded Foochow arsenal. 

6 Desps. and Corr. ; Loir, ' L'Escadre de I'Amiral Courbet,' 


Elsewhere the Kingfisher, sloop, Commander John Harvey 
Eainier, and the Frolic, gun-vessel, Commander Alfred Arthur 
Chase Parr, were actively employed for brief periods, the Kingfisher 
at Zeila, on the Somali coast, in February, 1885, when she had 
occasion to land a party to arrest some mutinous native police ; 
and the Frolic, on the Gold Coast, on January 31st, 1885, when, 
by way of reprisals for attacks on British subjects, she landed a 
party and burnt a town. 

The next work of really important character in which the Navy 
participated was the completion of the conquest of Burmah. 

After the second Burmese war and the annexation of the 
province of Pegu, 1 a revolutionary movement in Upper Burmah 
placed upon the throne a peaceable prince 2 who proved himself a 
wise and moderate ruler and cultivated friendly relations with the 
British. In 1854 he sent a mission to Calcutta, and, in the 
following year, he received at Amarapoora a Briti